For the last couple of years, Canadian and other city pride organizations across the globe have been in the news for not allowing uniformed police officers, straight or LGBT, to march in their parades. Some of the alternatives to not marching were “throw a polo on instead, but no uniforms” or “don’t have your own float, but put a police polo on and march with first responders that will be in uniform.”
Now the anti-Blue Pride trend has hit America. City pride groups in St Louis and Sacramento have either decided against allowing police in their Pride parades or have been flipping like a flounder when making that decision.
Pride St. Louis has told city and county police they aren’t welcome to march in the June 30 Pride parade, citing sensitivities surrounding the police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City 50 years ago that helped create the modern gay-rights movement.
Sayer Johnson, executive director of the Metro Trans Umbrella Group, told the Riverfront Times that the decision reflects the “complicated if not fragmented relationship” the LGBT community still has with law enforcement today. – stltoday.com
So which is it? Are you A. ) Just jumping on the band wagon and trying to tie your pride celebration into the Stonewall Pride? Let’s have a sense of community and ban the police from marching since they were the culprits 50 years ago?
These city pride groups that are crying “Stonewall Pride = No Police” have forgotten that in 2017 the Toronto Police [were] Invited To March In Uniform In NYC’s Televised Pride Parade. How are you honoring Stonewall by banning police from your parade when NYC, ummm, where Stonewall was and is, not only allows police to march in their parade, but they are inviting other police forces to march in their parade? Could it be because it’s wrong to do what you are doing?
Or are you B. ) having an issue with your own police force and you choose pride to show how you can discriminate for being discriminated against?
So Sacramento pride organizers, you’re up. Let’s watch a couple videos about what is happening, from all places, a FOX news channel, FOX40News.
The first video was created just after the LGBT Center decided that the police would not march in the SAC Pride Parade.
And then the decision was overturned and the police were allowed to march again after an agreement for better relations between the LGBT Community, LGBT Center, and Sacramento Police was penned.
There were small groups here and there saying that they would not attend because the police were marching and they needed to stand up for Stonewall (see the Toronto Police invited to NYC to march above). Sacramento Pride was this past weekend … how did it go?
The festivities didn’t go off without conflict, though. About 100 members of the #StillHere Alliance for Trans Rights protested the festival by setting up a human barricade to block several of the entrances, including the main one on Capitol Avenue and 7th Street, leading to verbal and physical altercations.
They opposed a decision by Pride organizers to allow police in uniform to participate in the event, citing a history of conflict dating back to the first Pride event, widely known as the Stonewall riots, which was a protest of a police raid on a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1969.
One of the #StillHere Alliance protest organizers, Breanna Martin, 23, said uniformed police should have been barred from the Sacramento parade because they “hurt black and brown people.” – sacbee.com
Ebony Harper, an activist for transgender rights and a Grand Marshal in the Pride parade, seemed to be at odds with both groups. She said that Pride has never focused on supporting black trans women. In her statement, “They’d rather center the police than a black trans women,” it seems that she was not happy that the big discussion around SAC Pride this year was centered on the police and not the transgender population, looking at a negative issue instead of a positive move forward. But she did also add that assaults on trans women are a “pandemic.“ And that is where the discussions should be, focusing on the current day mistreatment by some of the police force members.- sacbee.com
Here are other attendees at SAC Pride and what they thought.
I know it is the thing to do this day and age, and I hate it, but I’ll go ahead and make someone else’s problem all about me. I cannot stand church groups in Pride parades. I don’t give a crap if you are a church that is welcoming and supporting of our community. All I can think of is how much negativity and hatred comes from religion as a whole. I feel there should be no church groups in Pride parades. Anti-LGBT religious practices have caused so many suicides in this nation. Go have your booth at the beginning or the end and people can come see you, but don’t be in the parade. I cannot stand to see politicians in Pride parades. How many politicians have written and supported laws against us? How many do not care that we exist? I don’t care if you support us, I don’t want to see politicians in our Pride parades. Go have your booth at the beginning or the end of the parade and people can come see you if they want. We have lost so many simple human rights because of politicians.
No, it’s not the same, but it is. Throwing out a group as a whole because you disagree how one faction of the group may make you feel. I get it. It is a gut check for me when I see a police officer in full uniform, bullet proof vest, and weaponry. I get that walking near a subway entrance in NYC and around Pride barriers where police are there to protect and serve, because our LGBT community needs protection in this day and age. But then I think, why are they here? Why are they in attendance? I am grateful that they stopped a guy carrying two guns down here in New Orleans from getting too close to the Pride parade just this Saturday. My brother and I were blocks away. I am grateful for the police support and their showing, their presence after Pulse 3 years ago in Florida, in Wilton Manors. I am grateful to have them in our community. Yes, this is not the same feeling around the nation. I do understand that and I do understand there are major issues to fix, major issues to remove. But I also understand discriminating against a whole group for the actions of some is wrong.
I remember on a trip to Calgary, Canada, I was able to chat with the pride organizers and asked them how they were to combat the pride blue flu that seemed to be spreading from Toronto and Vancouver, banning police from marching. The simple answer given was … we talked before it became an issue. The organizers sat down with all groups and discussed the police presence in the parade. There was no us and them, but all factions were present, and when they talked as a cohesive group and not angry and defensive bits and pieces, things were accomplished and there were no bans.
As for when I see politicians marching in a pride parade or a church group coming? I’m still there, at the parade, I just usually look the other way or I use that time to get a drink or find a restroom. I’m not going to take all my toys and go home or try to relate my fear to an activity 50 years ago to seem relevant.
And of course, I’m just a cis white gay male, so my opinion does not matter and should not be taken into consideration at all. Our community needs to smarten up and accept everyone. You’re great at adding stripes onto the flag for more inclusion, may they be black, brown, white, pink, light blue, but you’re showing how good you are at taking stripes away, like the blue. For goodness sake, no, it doesn’t represent the police, Sweet Korean Jesus, but I’m sure people will comment on that as well. The blue stripe was removed as a visual aide to show how discriminatory our group can be. It’s easy to go from “You can sit with us” to “you can’t sit with us”, but protect us from all outside groups while we disrespect you.
This is definitely the opinion of one of the contributing writers of Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of other writers or the magazine.