Almost 40 years ago, the NYPD raided a gay bar named the Stonewall Inn. It was not an unusual type of raid at this point in time, as police often raided establishments frequented by queer folks. But what was unusual was that during this particular night, the patrons fought back. Cops don’t support LGBTQ rights.
What started was a mass movement of queer folks, lead by trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. The movement was radically intersectional, with an understanding that no person was free so long as various forms of oppression existed.
With Pride celebrations happening all around the country this month, it has become very clear how far we as a movement have fallen. While this Pride month featured significantly more incredible activistgroups than previous years, for the most part, Pride was filled with corporations that only seek to profit off the queer community.
Corporations like Lockheed Martin, which helps bomb brown queer people abroad, and Wells Fargo, which invests in pipelines on indigenous land, were both given spots in Pride parades.
Having these companies and others, which actively hurt marginalized people around the world, is disgusting and completely antithetical to the original purpose of Pride.
None of these companies care about LGBTQ+ people. The vast majority contribute almost nothing physical to improve the material conditions of LGBTQ+ people and instead merely offer empty statements about “love” and “inclusivity.” The only reason they engage with our community is to profit and define themselves as “good capitalists.” But there is no such thing.
There is also the inclusion of police in Pride even though the first Pride was an explicit anti-police riot. Police all over this country brutalize people of color and quite literally get away with murder.
Queer people of color are especially vulnerable to police violence; a 2015 study of trans Americans found that 58% of trans people experienced mistreatment from police, with the bulk of victims being black and brown.
It is no secret that the US has a major problem with police violence and mass incarceration. By including the police in Pride, we become complicit in it.
The people who stand up to this disgusting co-opting of Pride by capitalists are often punished the most. For instance, after “No Justice No Pride” blocked the Lockheed Martin float at the DC Pride Parade, the police violently removed them. The crowd, made up of mostly white people, cheered as the police brutalized the protesters.
In that moment, those people chose the police over their own community.
In dangerous times like today, it is essential that we honor the legacy of Stonewall and the heroes like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. To do that, we must reject the despicable corporate whitewashing of Pride.
Because ultimately, cops and corporations will never be LGBTQ+ allies.
Original Story here