Pride Changes: Creating Safer Spaces For LGBTQIA+ & BIPOC Communities

Image from NYC Pride Press Release

Today, NYC Pride announced its new policies to address the presence of law enforcement and NYPD at Pride events in New York. The overall changes are embracing steps to create safer spaces for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at Pride events.

New York City’s Pride celebration has been one to marvel at, attend, and join in the celebration with old friends, new friends, and complete strangers. But we often forget that the first marches back in 1969 were to fight for our rights and to fight against police brutality.  Now it seems we are coming full circle as NYC Pride joins in on the practice that has been growing over the past 4 years across North America where prides are taking steps to reduce the presence of law enforcement at any and all Pride events.

In a bold press release (see below), NYC Pride planners are banning police and corrections officers from participating as a group in the annual Pride march until at least 2025. With no stone unturned, this ban includes the Gay Officers Action League, an organization of L.G.B.T.Q. police.  The group released a statement stating:

The Gay Officers Action League (“GOAL”) is disheartened by the decision to ban our group from participating in New York City Pride. Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride) has long been a valued partner of our organization and its abrupt about-face in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful. GOALNY.org

From the press release and the NY Times, we learn that, “The New York Police Department will also be asked to stay a block away from the edge of all in-person events, including the march. Heritage of Pride, which organizes events, will instead turn to private companies for security and safety, calling police officers in emergencies only when necessary.”

So why make this decision?  Why now?  As stated, there have been several communities across North America that have banned police participation in pride celebrations. Most are saying the decision was made because of the “pressure” from some LGBTQ+ Activists to make the change. Some of them are citing recent activity against the LGBTQ+ Community while others are saying there should be no police presence because of the root, the core, the reason the riots started 52 years ago. So if it is an older threat or a newer one or one that is constant, NYC Pride has made the change.

What is shared below is the press release from NYCPride.org.  We will ask for your thoughts after the press release.


NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate. The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason. NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community. The steps being taken by the organization challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change.

Effective immediately, NYC Pride will ban corrections and law enforcement exhibitors at NYC Pride events until 2025. At that time their participation will be reviewed by the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, as well as the Executive Board. In the meantime, NYC Pride will transition to providing increased community-based security and first responders, while simultaneously taking steps to reduce NYPD presence at events.

“This announcement follows many months of conversation and discussion with key stakeholders in the community. We would like to extend our thanks to the Anti-Violence Project which provided invaluable advice and counsel to help us take these important steps. We are also grateful for the contributions of David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, Anita Dolce Vita, Owner, Creative Director, and Editor-in-Chief of DapperQ, Shijuade Kadree, Principal and Founder, Compass Strategies Consulting, LLC, and Devin Norelle, model, advocate, and writer for their guidance in helping to inform these changes.” – NYC Pride Co-Chair André Thomas

NYPD is not required to lead first response and security at NYC Pride events. All aspects of first response and security that can be reallocated to trained private security, community leaders, and volunteers will be reviewed. An increased budget for security and first response will allow NYC Pride to independently build a first response emergency plan using private security and provide safety volunteers with de-escalation training for first response when necessary. NYPD will provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials. In these instances, NYC Pride will review foreseeable NYPD involvement and, in partnership with surrounding venue precincts, take steps to keep police officers at least one city block away from event perimeter areas where possible.

NYC Pride does not currently mention, spotlight, interview, or otherwise promote law enforcement across its social media channels, digital content, Pride Guide, or any other owned media. As such, NYC Pride will not allow NYPD to speak at its events or use any NYC Pride platform. All changes related to police and NYPD will be communicated to volunteers, media, and third-party vendors to ensure enforcement beyond the 2020-2021 Pride season.

NYC Pride is also taking steps to increase the quality and quantity of partnerships with community-based organizations. This year’s roster of Pride events features a diverse group of speakers and presenters, and BIPOC influencers and organizations will continue to be at the forefront of NYC Pride’s social media platforms. The dedicated QPOC contingent of the NYC Pride March will be prominently featured this year and in future years thereafter. NYC Pride will also commit to increasing Black-led, Black-centered partnerships and establishing long-term vendor relationships with minority-owned businesses in an effort to uplift queer and BIPOC-centered organizations.

This year’s recipients of the Pride Gives Back Grant include a diverse group of organizations. More than $100,000 will be awarded to 18 organizations. 40% of Pride Gives Back Grants in the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year are going towards trans and nonbinary-owned, womxn-owned, and BIPOC nonprofits and initiatives. Over the next 5 years, NYC Pride will focus its efforts on giving to Trans, 2-spirit, gender non-conforming/non-binary, womxn owned, and BIPOC nonprofits and initiatives and award no less than 30% of its Pride Gives Back Grants to these groups. NYC Pride will also pledge physical volunteer time towards helping further these organizations’ missions, and work to create authentic partnerships between corporations and community organizations.

“We are extremely excited to continue the Pride Gives Back grant program this year. In 2021, we made a much more concerted effort to evaluate applicants based on a new set of criteria. Many of these organizations have never received a grant from us before, and bringing new partners into this program allows us to diversify our relationships and center a wider array of communities, especially those who have been historically marginalized, into the work we do every year.” – Kazz Alexander, Director of Community Relations

2021 Pride Gives Back Grant Recipients:

  • #BlackMenCryToo
  • Big Apple Performing Arts, Inc.
  • Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo
  • Drag Queen Story Hour Ltd.
  • Equality New York
  • Global Black Men Create
  • Gotham Cheer
  • Keeping Ballroom Community Alive
  • Lifecycle Biking
  • Mobilizing our Brothers Initiative
  • National LGBT Cancer Network
  • onePulse Foundation
  • OutCT
  • OutCycling Fearless Flyers
  • Ring of Keys Coalition, Inc
  • Rockland County Pride Center
  • Soule Foundation
  • Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls Inc

For more information about NYC Pride’s 2021 roster of events, visit: www.nycpride.org.


What are your thoughts Instincters? 

– Is this the correct thing to do?

– Is this what PRIDE needs to be moving forward? 

– Are the planners of NYC Pride on the right track with banning police presence and activity? 

– Will your local pride do the same?

11 thoughts on “Pride Changes: Creating Safer Spaces For LGBTQIA+ & BIPOC Communities”

  1. I have no issue with anyone gay, trans, bi, or whatever. My fav uncle is gay, and my buddy is bi leaning to straight up gay. I DO have issue with being bombarded with ‘Pride’ sh*t even from my g’damn employer! I find it offensive that I’m expected to ‘celebrate’ someone who is part of the alphabet community when there is no more of that sexuality of which to be ‘proud’ than there is for anyone hetero. It just IS. On top of that, where is the month dedicated to being straight? Huh? There aren’t any ‘woohoo…look at me, I’m straight’ celebrations or parades. Suck it, lick it, grind it, poke it….I don’t give a sh*t. No one is asking you to stay in the closet, but f*cking stay out of my face and my space!! I don’t particularly want my 5 year old giggling at some guy prancing down the avenue with his ass hanging out and a banana hammock like he’s trolling.

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  2. If there was any chance of picking up middle of the readers or independent voters, crap like this is surely going to erode it. Might as well wrap those voters up and gift them to the republicans.
    So god damned stupid.

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  3. Totally insane world we live in anymore. We need MORE police not less. The gay world is now just a bunch of WOKE-Supremisists. How divisive. So sick of cancel culture, PC crap, woke BS. Thought police. BLM is the new KKK. Marxists. Also trans need they own community. I am one who also left the democratic party awhile back. They are a bunch of nonsense at this point and are addicted to outrage. They have sucked the fun out of EVERYTHING! Glad I am a 46 year old gay male and lived thru the BEST decades. No room for other thought in the party now. You must obey so I went to a REAL FREEDOM party. Republican. NO thanks to socialist communism world the liberals, media, democrats, BLM, and gays have going on. It is literally scary. Wake up people! The stuff the liberals are pushing has no reality based in fact anymore. Most of it does not even make sense anymore. Like ZERO common sense. Every headline now just makes me go is this real? Is this actual reality that we are living in. I can NOT imagine saying you are a liberal and believing what they say anymore with a straight face. I am embarrased for them. Literally it is mind blowing. Sad but true. Enjoy your communist pride. Glad I will not be there! They are totally wrong on so many fronts now. The hatred shows. It is disgusting. Many of my gay friends agree. They and the liberal world have gone off the deep end in the last few years. Gay clubs and pride events are gonna be half of what they used to be becuz of it. YOU WILL SEE! Mark my words! People are sick of this nonsense! BYE!

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    • I might add that even WITH police presence I would now be afraid to attend as so many seem angry and destructive but without police it will be even scarier. Many will prolly riot even. Scary times! I will be far far away! Doubt I will ever attend a pride again in my life. Many feel this way now. Everyone has gone off the rails and lost they damn minds. I am not afraid of the police, what I AM afraid of now is the people IN the parades and what they will turn it into! Many share my sentiments! Wow! Freaky world it has become in the last couple years beyond anything I ever thought i’d see. The 80’s, 90’s, 00’s were the best of times. The people out there now seem possessed.

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  4. Putting NYPD in check as a security force for the parade or as an exhibitor is one thing. But banning gay police officers from marching in the parade as proud gay cops – who help to improve relations between the police and the LGBTQ community – is a bad idea. It sends a bad message, in my opinion.

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  5. San Diego Pride and the LGBT center took the same stance last year. Many here have taken the position that organizations founded on bridging the gap between differences and striving for equality and unity have failed in their mission when they start excluding rather than unifying and healing those differences. They have lost significant support within the community and I suspect NYC Pride will find a similar response.

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  6. I’m done with any more “pride” events. We can take no pride in such a decision. Many of these “organizers” are falling into the “woke” nonsense. I am still a member os the white culture, gay or not, and I won’t be cancelled. If they want to embrace the BLM violence, and go anti-police (where events have long been protected by outside violence from others by police presence), (and where there are organized groups of gay police), then I’m done with their left-wing nonsense I will stick with gay male groups. Trans issues are not gay issues, and need to have their own umbrella organization. This issue is tearing gay groups apart. Enjoy your marching. Hopefully , there is no violence.

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  7. No! This is an equality organization, not a discrimination organization. I will no longer support an event that discriminated against it’s own. This is not moving forward, it’s moving backwards. Gay men and women in police departments already struggle with discrimination and death threats daily, this adds to the stress and stigmatizes them as unwanted outsiders. Shame, shame, shame on the Organizers of ny (let’s discriminate against some of our own) pride parade. Oh, wait, no let’s keep them close so we can call them when we need them. Fortunately the gay men and women of the Police Department will respond to help you when the homophobes attack. Why won’t you be responsible to them.
    My check will go to their organizations this year and until 2025.
    I am so disappointed in your group it hurts my heart.

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    • I totally agree with you Stephen. It’s very hypocritical to ban law enforcement but asking to be close by in case of an emergency. The LGBT community has gone a total different direction than the one I used to support. I’m unsubscribing from this magazine because it no longer supports my views.
      I think it’s time to break the LGBT community into different ones. I’m all for supporting a Gay Community. Lesbians and transgenders can create their own. I don’t see anything wrong with that. They’ve gone too radical for a lot of us. Like a good friend of mine said: “Lesbians and Transgenders have hijacked our Gay community and turned it into a circus.”

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