Beyond the Gay Pride Parade, Showing Solidarity with Black Lives

The Gay Pride Parade is canceled, so in the spirit of its founding protests, now is time to support Black Lives.
JuanMichaelJuanMichael
Jun. 4, 2020
campaign, cherie
Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories; whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you!The coronavirus has canceled this year's Gay Pride Parade, but with the most recent--and sadly customary--rash of violence against Black men and women, perhaps that is for the best. Getting sloppy and loose on a weekend-long pub crawl loses its appeal when you realize that one of your friends might get hurt for doing something as innocuous as checking their phone. How is it possible to show pride when people are routinely murdered for being who they are? It flies in the very face of the parade’s meaning.What does it mean to show Pride and where does it come from?The first Gay Pride Parade I attended was in New York City during the summer of 2001. Coming from a conservative family, I did not understand what was going on until a hairy man grabbed me, planted a sloppy kiss on my forehead, and declared “Stand up tall, gorgeous! This is for us!” And all at once I got it: this was a day for same-gender-loving people and their fans to lustily crow that anything goes, without feeling shame. 51 years ago, when trans-activist Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera threw the first blows of defiance against the police officers who were raiding their hangout spot--the Stonewall Inn--few could have foreseen the strides that gay rights would eventually make. Queer men and women still face discrimination, but the ability to show affection to each other publicly and to marry without being penalized legally is a sign that society is making progress. If only that was true for Black people, who are frequently scorned for insisting that their lives matter in stark contrast to the existential threats they experience everyday. That’s why it feels right that this year’s parade has been supplanted by protests against systemic brutality. Perhaps this will help remind people what Pride is really about. After all, it's an echo of the Stonewall Riots' launch on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, after years of suffering police-sanctioned gay bashing.
campaign, cherie
Joining forces to cancel discrimination and create a greater celebration.I love a party, but in recent years, commercialization has reduced the parade to a liquor sponsored hook-up fest. And while the day’s raison d'être is to celebrate your fabulosity, doing so while discrimination reigns feels wrong. As a sign of support for Black lives, the Gay Liberation movement should officially add a black stripe to its rainbow flag. Given the death of Black trans man Tony McDade, who was shot by police in Florida last week, and the brutal attack on Black trans woman Iyanna Dior--who was beaten while protesting in Minnesota on Monday--there is a clear intersection between issues that continue to devastate both communities. Maybe that’s the way to return Pride to its roots: Black and Gay allies marching arm-in-arm as they wave a new flag of liberation in solidarity for freedom. "No justice, no peace! We're here, we're queer! And we're not going away!" Imagine two of the world's most marginalized groups declaring that however you present--whether Gay, Black, White, or Straight--you are beautiful, exactly the way your are. The statement would be unstoppable. Even without the coronavirus, we couldn't possibly hold a gay pride celebration without first protesting to abolish discrimination. We can always party, but not before proudly declaring that police brutality and oppression are canceled. Let’s hope 2020’s pause means that 2021 is the year that we all live proud and out loud!
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