QTPOC — what does that mean?

QTPOC — what does that mean?

Katya Shaposhnikova

This acronym is used to mark of the groups from LGBTQ+ community. It is oftenly used in English, and less so in other languages. Here is Pure’s memo for the abbreviation and our little “how to” if you are going to use it correctly.

QTPOC — what does that mean?.0.0

What does QTPOC mean?

It is simply the abbreviation of Queer and Trans People of Color. Sometimes the shorter version is being used — QPOC — Queer People of Color. That means the all afro-american, asian and native American members of LGBTQ+ are united within the queer-culture and are fighting together for the right of the whole community. Historically it works out this way: acronym QTPOC is being used to refer to those who represent the group, and QPOC is mainly used when it talking about special format of events, that are significant for queer- and trans-culture.

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Why it is important to name this group separately? 

Sad but true, and fact are: modern world is still racist, homophobic and transphobic. There is still a lot of harassment. The QTPOC movement has started with the conversation about activists actions towards finding solutions of how to protect and guarantee safety for trans and queer people of color. This group is facing all kinds of discrimination at once. Such activists as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson have started talking about protection for trans-people of color as long ago as in 1969, during the Stonewall riots in New York. Later on they have founded the first QTPOC-organization called STAR — Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries.

What is the Stonewall Riots? 

It wasn’t legal in the 1960-s to run a gay-bar. There were, though, a few secret places that were sort of gay speakeasies but still police raids on these gay bars were routine. It was a deeply humiliating and unfair procedure when police could have entered the bar and start some sort of a “biological gender” check-up. That kind of raid is what exactly happened on 28th June 1969 in a place called Stonewall Inn. But it was unlike any other time before that the gay and lesbian community stood up for their right and fought back. Police officers quickly lost control over the situation and got locked in a bar. The police van was overthrown. The next few days were marked by a series of demonstrations and riots against homophobiс outrage. And the outcome was that things started to change. A year passed. Human rights organizations have started working with lesbian and gay people, the laws were reconsidered and then the very first Pride in USA happened. Gay parade took place in Greenwich Village.

QTPOC — what does that mean?.2.0

What symbols do QTPOC use?

QTPOC’s flag has an image of a raised fist against the rainbow background. It symbolises not only the resistance, but as well the cross-over in two communities — the mutuality of problems for LGBTQ+ people and people of color. The palette that is used for the QTPOC flag is the variety of colors from white to dark brown — and it refers to the very wide diversity in the community and the importance of that for QTPOC. 

More facts on the subject 

  • In 2017 Philadelphia added black and brown stripes to the rainbow flag as an act to support the QTPOC. 
  • Representatives of the QTPOC community use all the different pronouns to identify themselves: he, she and the gender-neutral they.  
  • RuPaul has admitted in one of the episodes of RuPaul’s Drag race that Marsha P. Johnson is the most inspiring person in the history of drag for him personally. 
  • Since 2018 citizens of New York State can put X in their documents when asked to mark out the gender box. 

Few more important terms for you: AFAB/AMAB, enbies, bigender.


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