The violence of pride | HuffPost Reviews

Shortly before the start of Pride month, the mayor of San Francisco ― a city whose metropolitan area has the highest percentage in the c...


Shortly before the start of Pride month, the mayor of San Francisco ― a city whose metropolitan area has the highest percentage in the country adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender ― announced that she would not participate in the city’s annual Pride Parade because organizers were banning uniformed police from marching.

“One of the central elements of the movement for better policing is the demand that those who serve in uniform better represent the communities they police,” Mayor London Breed said. said. “We can’t say, ‘We want more black officers,’ or ‘We want more LGBTQ officers,’ and then treat those officers with disrespect when they step in and serve.”

Breed is not alone here. A number of Democratic politicians have used this fallacious argument when trying to justify reckless loyalty to law enforcement for their own political expediency.

For starters, who is “we”?

As mayor of a city like San Francisco, I doubt Breed would ignore the strained relationship the LGBTQ community has always had with law enforcement. The country’s first Pride marches were held to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City ― an event remembered today as the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Pride can now make headlines from companies like Postmates create bottom-friendly menusbut it can never be divorced from its origin story of trans women struggling against police harassment.

People cheer as police back down after a protest by protesters on Market Street during the Pride Parade in San Francisco, June 30, 2019. The group was anti-police and against businesses participating in the parade.
People cheer as police back down after a protest by protesters on Market Street during the Pride Parade in San Francisco, June 30, 2019. The group was anti-police and against businesses participating in the parade.

Gabrielle Lurie/San Francisco Chronicle via Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

The group hosting the city’s march, San Francisco Pride, initially imposed restrictions on uniformed police officers in 2020, following nationwide protests in response to the murder of George Floyd. A nation has seen a black man tortured and killed, and millions have taken to the streets to demand that our leaders do something about racist law enforcement practices and the broken criminal justice system. Two years later, all that’s been done is an executive order signed after Congress failed to respond to a social justice movement.

Nothing fundamentally changed, which is why Pride organizers reinstated the ban, given the safety concerns of marginalized groups within the LGBTQ community. You know, black people who are a significant part of the population, no matter what the media tries to tell the public.

It’s not like cops are outright banned from Pride events. Officers were encouraged to participate, but asked to wear department t-shirts instead of uniforms. Organizers in Toronto, Vancouver, New York and Denver also attempted to set limits on police involvement.

Breed, like many Democratic politicians who foolishly drop nuance whenever criticism of policing arises, takes a stand for one of America’s most powerful political forces by publicly bashing their most vulnerable counterparts.

Worse, she makes the cops and herself look like victims. She plays in people’s faces with this type of argument in this climate. Breed isn’t the first ambitious politician to do this, but it’s all the more insulting coming from a black man.

“LGBTQ people are nearly four times more likely to experience violence, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault.”

LGBTQ people are almost four times more likely experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault, according to research. LGBTQ people are more likely to experience violence from both strangers and people they know well. As evidenced recently the arrest of 31 men linked to a white supremacist group in Idaho who allegedly sought to stage a riot at a local Pride event, the anti-LGBTQ violence that flourished under the Trump administration continues to soar.

Much of this has to do with Republicans attacking the LGBTQ community with defamatory rhetoric and targeted legislation.

As recently as 2003LGBTQ people in the United States could be imprisoned simply for acting on their identity, due to sodomy laws and laws regulating gender presentation. These are the kinds of laws Republicans want to bring back. I imagine the same goes for the past police practice of infiltrating and attacking LGBTQ community spaces and businesses.

Unfortunately, the community cannot always rely on the police to protect us. On the contrary, we can count on them to engage in their own violent actions, rooted in prejudice, under the guise of enforcing the law.

Despite LGBTQ rights progresspolice discrimination against the community has continued over the years, according to the American Bar Association. By the Innocence Projectthis discrimination has led to arrests “based on biased beliefs, influenced investigations and contributed to harassment and sexual assault of LGBTQ people by law enforcement.

During protests against police brutality in 2020, activists saw evidence of targeted police violence against strange spaces in states like North Carolina and New York.

Protesters gathered on Market Street in an attempt to end the annual Pride Parade in San Francisco on June 30, 2019.
Protesters gathered on Market Street in an attempt to end the annual Pride Parade in San Francisco on June 30, 2019.

Gabrielle Lurie/San Francisco Chronicle via Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

Transgender people are particularly at risk to be killed by police and correctional staff. According the anti-violence projecttrans people are almost four times more likely to experience police violence than cisgender people.

Unsurprisingly, the burden is even greater for Black LGBTQ people. In a 2020 Center for American Progress survey, 33% of Black LGBTQ people said they had experienced discrimination in the past year and that it had a significant effect on their lives and day-to-day experiences. Many said they had changed their behavior to avoid potential harm, including refraining from travel and staying away from public spaces such as restaurants and shops.

Yes, some law enforcement now require LGBTQ training. BLast time I checked they still kill black people after being trained on it.

A cop in uniform is a rightly terrifying sight for many, whether the cop is black, LGBTQ, or both. The presence of the police can be perceived as threatening because they have functioned and still function as a threatening force against the community. God forbid, organizers are asking them to don a t-shirt and let the Rainbow Clique enjoy their Pride Parade without fear of pepper spray, rubber bullets, tackles or public execution.

London Breed should get over herself and attend the event ― even if she finds herself booed like Mr. NYPD himself, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who was recently mocked at a Brooklyn Pride parade, probably on his appointments of ministers with a history of homophobic speech. Adams’ picks, like Breed’s or Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s (who recently trampled on the notion of the presumption of innocence), illustrate the limits of representation when the different faces of power perpetuate the status quo.

If Breed is truly an ally of the LGBTQ community, she will change her mind and attend the parade on June 26. If she sticks to her position, may she never be released for being so petty about an event. where a targeted community asked a collectively hostile group to adhere to a less terrifying dress code.



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