GetEQUAL’s newly appointed Executive Director Gabriel Garcia-Vera announced today that the group will be shutting down immediately following a scandal surrounding the termination of a former staffer, Campaign Manager Aaryn Lang who accused the board of racism and transphobia.
“I have learned so much over the last few months, but one thing I have always known is that the movement and the world need fewer people in power who are ready to abuse it for their insecure whims,” Lang wrote on Facebook. “We all deserve better from the people and places that have aligned themselves with justice.”
Lang demanded GetEQUAL make donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Trans Sistas of Color Collective, Black Queer and Intersectional Columbus and No Justice No Pride which the GE has worked closely with in the past.
Garcia-Vera denied the allegations of discrimination but also put some blame on the groups closing on finances, even though they supposedly just came off a successful donor drive. “Our financial assets are barely sufficient to cover our operations for more than a few weeks. Our board of directors has collapsed. Raising new revenue and rebuilding the board would be a tremendous challenge even if we weren’t in the middle of a social media storm,” Garcia-Vera wrote in an open letter to the community. “But even more importantly, I fear that our capacity to advance our mission has been undermined.”
GetEQUAL was founded in 2010 by Robin McGehee, who was co-director of the National Equality March that took place in Washington, D.C..
GetEQUAL original mission statement was to secure complete Federal civil rights for the LGBT community and staged a series of protests against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which included Lt. Dan Choi and other service members handcuffing themselves to the White House fence.
Next Heather Cronk picked up the gauntlet as leader of the group following the civil rights message but it was not until Angela Peoples joined and started to take over that GetEQUAL changed its message to a QPOC (Queer People of Color), Trans Rights group. And it protests changed from handcuffing themselves to the White House gates to protesting Pride Parades thus cutting out their base donors.
The irony of a GetEQUAL a being accused of racism and transphobia after years of accusing the gay and lesbian community of racism and transphobia is not lost on many in the community who have questioned their tactics and behavior after People’s took charge.