I was just browsing Twitter, minding my own business (prolly browsing thirst traps), when I came across this:
This is just the latest in an ongoing trend of police departments showing how “down” they are with the Gays.
(If you’ve followed my work for any length of time, you likely know what’s coming)
Granted, this really isn’t much unlike any other performative showing of solidarity or “allyship.” But there’s something especially insidious about police adopting this display. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Pride was originally started as a march to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which took place one year prior. The Stonewall Riots were ultimately triggered by the constant abuse and violence put onto (primarily Black & Brown) Trans women & Femmes. Violence and abuse that was sanctioned by the state, no less. And who were the agents that were used to enact this state-sanctioned violence onto these Black & Brown Trans women & Femmes?
The fucking police.
So, fast-forward, almost 50 years later, and we now have police, not only being invited into our spaces, but also taking on performative symbolism to show how much they “support” us. All in observance of an event that was literally born out of violence and degradation enacted on the LGBTQ community. By that very same institution.
Now, some lost souls (i.e. WhiteGayze™) might be thinking something like, “Well, sure. Police were bad back then, but can’t they be given an opportunity to change?!” Well, the problem with that argument is they haven’t changed in any substantive way. We don’t even have to look solely at the past. Let’s talk about some of the anti-LGBTQ things police are currently doing, to this day.
While not as common these days, Gay bars, bathhouses and other LGBTQ establishments around the country are still subject to raids. Who carries out said raids? You guessed it—police.
It’s not atypical for LGBTQ victims of crimes to be casually (if not callously) brushed aside by law enforcement. For one example, think back to Stephen Port, the serial killer who was allowed to target and murder Gay men for over a year.
Trans & Gender Non-Conforming people are also heavily affected by law enforcement and the state. Trans women, and Black Trans women, in particular, are among the most likely demographics to experience violence from police. (So…I guess history repeats, in that regard.)
And of course, just the issue of police violence on Black bodies, in general. Even if it only was directed at cisgender, heterosexual people, don’t you think that would still heavily take a toll on LGBTQ people who are also Black?
These are only a few examples of how LGBTQ identities are adversely affected by police, and always have been. So, for those of you who wanna celebrate this empty gesture of fake-acceptance, think much more critically about what you’re supporting. A lot of LGBTQ folks (again, primarily WhiteGayze™) insist on clinging to this idea that police are a source of safety for us (them). Of course, that’s pretty well in keeping with their usual praxis of cozying up with the very entities that have long been sources of LGBTQ oppression, and calling it “progress.” WhiteGayze™ erase the bulk of LGBTQ people in favor of oppressive institutions. And they’ll do this while simultaneously claiming this community is diverse and makes space for all.
…and then they have the nerve to wonder why we’re shutting down their precious parades, left and right.
When I say “Fuck 12,” yes…it’s for their long, LONG history of anti-Black violence. But it’s also for their history of abuse against LGBTQ people. And of course, the intersections between the two.
Given the history of anti-LGBTQ policing, it should be no surprise that many of us are entirely unmoved by these empty displays of growth or acceptance. Keep your Pride decals, your participation in Pride parades, your “cute” twerking at Pride festivals, etc. I don’t entertain fake, performative allyship from the oppressor, and this will be no exception.
I’ll say this during Pride month, and any other month of year:
Abolish. The. Police.
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