Update: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone who participated in giving respect to QT BIPOC lives by disrupting the Pride parade. There is a photo in that link of the protest being led by children, BIPOC folks, and people in wheelchairs, in case you forgot who is most marginalized by law enforcement and events like Pride.
These were the demands made by protesters:
- Honors the legacy and life of trans women of color and recognize Pride as the byproduct of their resistance of police brutality and repression
- Combats State violence with the total elimination of police and law enforcement
- Is accountable for their perpetuation of white supremacy and homonormativity and that they eradicate their normalization of these violent systems
- Provide an exclusive healing space at future events for indigenous and people of color to process, rest, and restorative justice
- Divests from all corporations as they promote the marginalization, exploitation, and criminalization of marginalized communities
- Funds and organizes a Town Hall alongside members from marginalized communities including but not limited to Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Native Lives Matter, and Justice4MarcusGolden
- Provide racial reparations via redistribution of resources and monetary compensation to grassroots organizations of the coalition’s choice.
I feel numb. Philando Castile's murderer was acquitted. Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant woman, was shot dead by police after phoning them for help. Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old on the way to her mosque, was beaten to death. 13 trans people have been murdered so far this year, and they were all women of color. Our community is running itself ragged organizing, and healing, and grieving these tragedies.
My grieving looks like anger, sadness, frustration, and a desperate need to cling to the BIPOC WTF in my life, and to celebrate the queer BIPOC joy that I'm lucky enough to have access to. Because I feel so numb.
I really need to process some of these feelings with you, my Friends.I know a lot of you will be attending Pride this weekend.
Queers? You know I support you. You do your pride how you need to! You deserve everything. Pride, love, respect, and SAFETY.
On the subject of safety, I hope you are aware of the decision that Twin Cities Pride made, regarding having officers in uniform, and a marked cop car motorcade before the march, lights-a-flashin'. After the Black community in the Twin Cities demanded that there be no cops at pride (because of the lack of justice when several officers have recently gotten away with literal murder), Pride made a compromise to use an unmarked car and have police leave their uniforms at home to avoid further traumatizing a grieving community. And then, they reversed their decision.
I don't have to explain how this is a violent act against our queer POC community, especially our trans women of color.
Twin Cities Pride publishing a press release that includes, "WE WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY," is unacceptable. When has the law enforcement "community" apologized to CeCe McDonald? Apologized to Diamond and her daughter? Apologized for Jamar Clark's partner and family? When do we get apologies for all of youth and trans women who are harassed by police, getting guns pulled on them for simply walking down the street??
Queer history: Stonewall was regularly raided by cops, who loved to beat and criminalize being gay, being trans, and not fitting into homo/cis normative boxes. After one of these raids, where cops demanded to see trans women's genitals, Sylvia Rivera (a trans woman of color, see video below) threw a fucking brick. That brick inspired the gay and trans rights movement and was lead by the people who were most marginalized and abused by those in power- TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR.
How far we've come. Queer folk can be out. Proud. Employed. Married.
How far we've fallen. Trans women of color are still being murdered and beaten, and members of our community aren't even able to pee in peace. Our children are being bullied at school and abused by the medical institution. The Gay and Trans Rights movement began to fight for housing, employment, healthcare, and safety from homophobic and transphobic cops! How many of those things have we won? How are we still fighting for our trans and queer siblings who have less access to wealth and resources?
If you're attending Pride this weekend, I have some hopes and wishes for you.
- Take care of each other. Do not allow our community to be terrorized by the police. If you see someone panicking because of the cop presence (or anything, really) please ask them if they need some water or help to get away from the situation.
- Watch out for each other. Download the ACLU app and report any police misconduct.
- Walk together. Please don't leave by yourself. Go to the bathroom with someone else. If you are going to be drinking please go in numbers.
- Hydrate and sunscreen! You're precious!
- Take it back. Fly that flag with the Brown and Black stripes, because it's covered in Black and Brown blood already. Take the mic. Stop business as usual. Come to one of the alternative Pride events.
And above all... CELEBRATE EACH OTHER!
QT BIPOC joy is a revolutionary act. Your laughter and love are my home!
What are your hopes and wishes for each other?
Content note that Goddess Sylvia talks about her experience with lack of healthcare, sexual assault, incarceration, police brutality. "GAY POWER!!!"