This past week I’ve spoken out in support of the added brown and black stripes to the new controversial gay Pride flag used specifically for the Pride celebration in Philadelphia. White gays nearly lost their damn minds over the new flag and dramatically reached for every reason in the world to take umbrage with the new stripes. One of the many nonsensical reasons many White gays latched onto was claiming that there was no support for gay and trans people of color from the #BlackLivesMatter movement. That is simply not true. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has always championed for the protection and rights of queer people of color, especially those in the trans community. And, as evidenced in this open letter, #BlackLivesMatter continues to hold the NYC Pride committee and the NYPD accountable for their lack of inclusion and lack of protection for people of color in the LGBTQ community.
Last night, in the West Village, the NYPD had more than a strong presence. Long after the parade concluded, there were clusters of police positioned on every street corner, corralling frustrated and tired pedestrians through steel barricades. “You can’t go this way,” they barked. “You have to go this way,” they directed but then another would yell “You can’t come this way, turn around and go back the way you came.” They were unhelpful and extremely rude. As some streets were heavily congested, other streets remained empty and inaccessible. Even as late as midnight, subway entrances were still blocked off and, on Grove Street, just right in front of the Stonewall National Monument, a thick line of stern and grim faced NYPD officers aggressively pushed through the street, looking more like they were ready for a riot than a Pride celebration.