Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

25 protesters stage 'kiss-in' at Md. restaurant

By: Rebecca Armendariz

Two women who say they were subjected to discrimination at the Tastee Diner in Silver Spring, Md., returned to the restaurant Wednesday evening for a “kiss-in” style protest.

The demonstration on behalf of Aiyi'nah Ford and her partner Torian Brown, who say they were asked to leave the restaurant after embracing at the counter, filled half of the restaurant with about 25 supporters.

Ford said she arrived at the restaurant and TV crews from local media outlets were already there. She reminded the crowd of the protest guidelines and discussed the dispute.
Supporters included transgender activist Dana Beyer and The Silver Spring Penguin, a local news source.

"When we arrived, they asked us to sit in the back. [The discrimination] is blatant, and they don't even know what they're doing. It's tragic and sad," Ford told the Blade.

"Someone brought her daughter, who was school age, not even 10, and she had a sign and she was protesting. It made me feel like I made the right decision," Ford said.

Now that the protest is over, Ford will continue to pursue her complaint with the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. The commission has agreed to consider and process the inquiry to file a discrimination complaint, according to an e-mail from intake coordinator Gloria Klatt.

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