FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Are We Gonna Do About Pride Though?

As has increasingly been the case for years now, the arrival of Pride season was brought to my attention by the appearance of rainbow colored everything popping up in the storefronts and targeted ads of corporate chains far and wide. Announcements of “bigger and better” pride parades from city to city are filling my inbox promising safe and inclusive spaces to celebrate, but leaving out the disclaimer that they mean safe and inclusive for white cis gay men. When I see the shelves of stores filling up with rainbow hats and flasks, and hear the celebrity line-ups announced for corporate sponsored and police-escorted parades I think one thing: We have GOT to take back Pride.

A Pride that centers on capitalism and donates proceeds to largely white organizations is not a safe and inclusive Pride. Neither is one that opens its arms to the very police forces that extinguish black queer lives with frightening agility all around the country AND fails to protect the black and trans women of color – the very ones whose ancestors we have to thank for the existence of Pride in the first place – on a daily basis. There has been a systemic white, cis washing of Pride occurring for decades – to the point that there are still an astonishing number of LGBTQ+ people who have never heard of Marsha P. Johnson, The Stonewall Inn, or the origin story of pride. The disrespect is immense.

I know far too many queer people of color avoid Pride festivities in their respective cities because they’ve been shown year after year that they aren’t welcome. For many, Pride has become the time of year that it’s made as clear as the crystals on my altar that being queer does not in fact automatically erase racism, transphobia, white supremacy, and the structures that uphold them from our community. That money and power are viewed as more important that justice and equality. That black and trans lives don’t matter as much as they should. How is that something to be proud of?

I struggle with that question every year, and I know I’m not the only one. There are many of us who have been fighting to have our voices heard about the need to end the policing, monetization, and historic erasure of Pride. Trying to call attention and support to the most marginalized and oppressed members of our community because if Pride isn’t for them, it isn’t for anyone. There are coalitions to reclaim pride, and movements all around the country, but it’s not yet enough. We need more conversation, more ideas, and more mobility which brings us directly to my hope for this thread.

I want us to have a giant queer brainstorming session about how to bring the focus of Pride back to it’s origins. How to make it truly safe and inclusive for every single member of the LGBTQ+ community, not the just the most racially, physically, and financially privileged. Let’s share all our best ideas. What would a truly safe Pride look like? How can we center our trans and BIPOC family? Where can we better spend our money during Pride season? How can we hold our leaders and organizations in positions of power accountable? Every movement of change grows and lives through important, widespread conversations. Let’s have one today.

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:
Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…
code it in to your comment like so:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out A.E.’s step-by-step guide.
How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:
Find a video on YouTube, copy the URL, and paste the link on its own separate line in your comment. You no longer need to use the “embed” code!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Reneice Charles

Reneice Charles is a just another queer, liberal, woman of color using the Internet to escape from reality and failing miserably. She received her MSW from New York University and is an Entrepreneur and Vocalist living in Los Angeles. She spends her spare time wishing she didn't have to use her spare time convincing people that everyone deserves the same basic human rights.

Reneice has written 104 articles for us.


  1. This is a great question because last weekend was LA Pride and I spent it in the great outdoors. Pride feels a bit too hip and corporate for me. Plus, I feel a bit under-represented as a trans person. Plus, I am still not happy with many of the pride policies that are going on around the country that make my community feel less safe. I would for one make sure that if you are a cop at pride, that one you are LGBTQ, two in plain clothes, and three on the side of the community and not the cops who don’t have our best interest(see the incident at Detroit Pride). Other things I would make sure that all LGBTQ POC and religious minorities feel safe. To accomplish that pride organizers would have to be trained on how to handle things and be better informed on things so there is no bias, errors, or incidents(looking at you D.C.). Oh and empathy, we need more empathy towards eachother cause without it cis-het(and even some gay) conservatives who want us gone, will do anything to win by dividing us.

    How’s everyone’s week going? It’s been kind of a long week. I am going to have to see a doctor and see why the heat is affecting me so much. I also have to see if I caught that virus that causes an imbalance in my inner ear again, not fun. As I mentioned it was pride weekend but did none of the festivities as I was on work on Saturday and in nature on Sunday riding my bike. I did a ride in nature that included an incline, where at the end of the ride I felt a bit nauseous. I asked on Reddit what my options are to make it easier for me to go up inclines. Next thing I know I’m browsing craigslist & now have a bike better suited for inclines with a sticker that says, “not bad for a girl.” I also went to the beach to cool down, and a dude was staring at me a part of the time, cause I guess he never saw a visibly gnc, queer person? I dunno what that was about, but it needs to stop.

    More yellow flowers by the coast.

    Thank you for viewing & reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • I’ve been thinking a lot about recreating the spirit of pride with alternative community spaces and hangs that aren’t as… corporate-y. So Camp for example, or kickbacks with friends, or even just dnd games or bingo at your local bar/community center. Alternate community building.

    • Man, I feel this. I ended up going to LA Pride for the first time, and even though I thought I was prepared for the corporate BS and the self-congratulatory trumpeting of inclusivity in clearly non-inclusive spaces I… really struggled. I think you had the right idea.

      I tried to enact my values by marching with a well known civil rights organization, but even that was populated mostly with white and straight people. I’m all for allyship, but there was very much a vibe of “we’re here to celebrate what we’ve done for you!” which really made my skin crawl.

      Also, no cops at Pride. No corporate branding either.

      • Yeah, I had enough after seeing a straight up Wal-Mart semi-truck with a rainbow flag on it last year at Long Beach Pride. It wasn’t even handing out tote-bags or goodies like the Whole Foods truck(actual truck with people in the back) was.

        I am sorry that happened with all the cis-het and white people there. Maybe next year I will host a beach day. I know I was invited to a few of the night events, but most of those are centered around over drinking, and half-naked go-go dancers, which is great; but I prefer more of a Cuties meeting new people and hanging out with optional cannabis room(it’s legal after all).

    • I used to go to a meetup for trans people that was held at a coffee shop where I used to live, and sadly I haven’t found anything like it where I now live (the Bay Area). Some of it is the horrible traffic and how SF-centric everything queer is, but I suspect some of it is me not knowing where to look.

      Something like your Cuties meetup would be more my speed.

      • Yeah, I really wish all cities had their own version of Cuties, with ice cream next door, a wine, and beer bar across the street for those who want to partake.

      • i don’t know where in the bay area you are, but you might want to check out wicked grounds. it’s a kinky queer coffee shop and they regularly have different kinds of meetups

  2. Thank you for this! Totally agree with you on the empathy front. It’s hard to do with such large groups coming together. Also interesting to hear you ideas about police
    presence. I’m definitely on the side of no police at pride, but curious to hear others thoughts on plain clothes officers!

    • Like I said plain-clothed LGBTQ officers who are on our side is fine with me because I’d like to think they recognize the power and skills they are lgbtq and the community has been marginalized by the same organization they work for. Like last year I went to Long Beach Pride, and the cops were in the parade in their cop cars(including a convertible, which I like, but pointless as a cop car).

      • But policing doesn’t work like this. As a system, policing is designed to uphold white supremacy (which includes heteropatriarchy) thru state violence. No amount of “but they’re on our side” is going to fix that. Relying on individual intentions will not take down a system designed to threaten and punish and kill, particularly people of color, and homeless folks, mentally ill, and gender non-conforming folks. Andrea Ritchie’s book “Invisible No More” really convinced me on this.

    • So, I am An Old, at least in internet terms. Even when I first started attending Pride in the early ’00s, there was a police presence: but at that time, they were a contingent of lgbtqq2siaap and allied officers marching in the parade as themselves. They were there to celebrate being party of the queer community, NOT to police the rest of us.

      Now, I personally have a LOT of feelings about the police, not many of them good, especially in connection with the queer community. But there are a lot of groups and institutions (Log Cabin Republicans; certain allegedly “queer-friendly” religious organizations) that I don’t like, but I understand that part of being an adult and part of the lgbtqq2siaap community is understanding that some lgbtqq2siaap people do also have those affiliations.

      So, sure, cops–especially queer ones–can absolutely come to Pride. As themselves. But not in their official capacity. In uniform or out.

  3. I’ve never felt like Pride was for me. Especially in recent years where it has gotten far too corporate. They’ve turned it into the fucking Thanksgiving Day Parade. And I just know none of these major companies are donating all the money they are making off their Pride merc/ads to LGBT charities. Some of it might even be going to anti-gay organizations for all we know. They don’t actually care about us but they will take our money. I know some people think that companies pandering to us is a step in the right direction but I’m not so sure.

    I’m one of those “cops don’t belong at Pride” people. Not that it makes any difference because they are going to keep coming anyway. I don’t even know how you stop them. I saw the footage of those cops walking alongside the Nazis and shielding them at DC Pride and it was deeply disturbing. You won’t catch me at one of these things. Cops are still out here in the streets abusing us to this day but some of yall want them to keep showing up and pretending to care about us a few days of the year. Couldn’t be me. I know the common counter-point is “Well they are there to protect us”. Are they? I want to hear from people who have had the experience of the police coming to their defense at Pride on that particular point. That definitely didn’t look to be the case at Detroit Pride for example. And what do the LGBT people who work in law enforcement think about working Pride? Why do you work in law enforcement? What are you all doing about the bad apples in your departments? I have so many questions.

      • Wow, yes, it IS like the thanksgiving day parade! You make a really good point about the (toxic) lack of transparency around law enforcement and what if anything they’re doing to combat police brutality.

  4. I’m not sure how to tackle Pride when it comes to official parades and events, although I’m also on the no police at Pride side of things. But I’m pretty excited at how my Pride month has been outside of official events. I work in a liberal state in a govt office with lots of straight cis white liberals who like the rainbows but don’t have much knowledge on history or current issues. I’ve been gaying up the department in my own way since I showed up (as one of the only visible queers I’ve encountered here). For Pride, a small group of white cis-gays and straight women of color combined to create a Pride Celebration focused on education in our dept. We put together a proposal and were able to throw a dept-wide event on the history of Stonewall. We made giant posters of key figures/organizations (Storme DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Craig Rodwell, Doric Wilson, Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine, Gay Liberation Front). One poster was on Police Inspector Seymour Pine as a way to introduce the concept of police discrimination and hostility. We had food, music, and decorations to draw people in, but the focus really was on giving officials in charge of creating policies a stronger understanding of gay history and the contributions and struggles of the trans and QPOC communities. Once most of the department heads had arrived, we played a YouTube video on stonewall that was created by a young queer person of color.
    The day felt like a success for our goal of celebrating and educating. But more importantly the beauty and power of this little coalition of marginalized folks joining together to celebrate and support one another was incredible. Not only did the event lead to lots of conversations throughout the department, but also to specific official projects to improve our LGBTQ+ policies. And we said Equity Task Force enough times that I think we created one that will work to tackle issues facing lots of different groups. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as much Pride and community. There aren’t many queer people, black people, Asian people, or Latinx people where I work, but when we came together it felt possible to take on the majority and bring about at least a little change in our one building.

  5. Pride, in my experience, means you have to squint through all of the glitter and wade through the booming bass to find the true unicorn magic.

    Imho, there are two ways to change pride:1.Get on a Pride committee 2.walk or make a small float yourself, in between the flashiness people do look for what’s different, for people who have something to say
    Berlin has or has had two prides, the commercial and the alternative one.
    I literally organized the alternative pride one year because I felt it was so important, but these days, I forget to wish for pride weekend off, and if I go it’s with a bunch of friends and allies more out of a sense of obligation than anything else. I don’t know if pride is still our party or if we need a new one. Maybe the dyke marches are going to be the new rainbow.

    • It does kinda seem like we need to start fresh and organize pride’s outside the current season but that also frustrates me cause what I’d really like to see is all that corporate pride money being diverted to the people and places that actually need it! Would love to know more about your experience organizing the alternative pride?

      • Maybe the people organizing pride can take that corp money and put it towards housing, clothing, food, meds, and anything else a community needs, while still put their name on parades & floats or is that not possible?

        • It would definitely put the onus of truth on the Corporates. Principles before profit and all that.
          Can’t say I’m optimistic about the outcome but if it’s implemented in that way it would really be a breakthrough that could benefit all involved.

    • Likewise on the no capitalism at pride team too.😊 I do not want a pride sponsored by corporations doing immense harm to communities of color and the earth.

  6. I don’t know about what to do on a systematic level, but I’m currently trying to use Pride as the clarion call to build or join a more inclusive queer community away from the domination of cis white Pride (and, in LA, WeHo). Anybody who’s got suggestions, this introvert would love to hear ’em!

    • If you can organize events that are less focused on cis white people? I know there are a few qtpoc that come to Cutie coffee and I am sure they would be glad to participate. I also know Cuties lets people organize there so people have an accessible-ish meeting spot and they advertise it on their FB usually.

  7. I hate the overcommercialization and corporatization of Pride as much as the next queer but at the same time I love seeing Pride-themed t-shirts and stickers and pins and mugs in places like Newbury Comics or Target because it’s a sign that they’ve realized we’re winning, and that marketing to us is the strategically optimal move and makes me feel a little less depressed about the state of society as a whole.

    In Cambridge Mass there’s a queer craft market that’s usually the same weekend as the Pride parade and it’s a great way for queer creators and designers to get paid and get their names/shops out there, and it’s a fun place to hang out and buy queer stuff without feeling guilty about Capitalism. I wish that was a thing in more places! Or like, better advertised/more accessible Pride hangouts/events that aren’t at bars! Who’s going to open a queer teahouse-bookstore-yarn store with me??

    • Wait, I haven’t heard about this queer craft market in Cambridge – what’s it called?? Has it happened yet this year? I’m local and this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I’ve been wanting. I want queer knitting circles, book clubs, skill shares, hiking groups! I agree that most hangouts are at bars, but like – I’m tired and an introvert. I don’t want to go to those events. But I desperately want to build queer community. I want to MAKE! I want to SHARE! I want Pride to be punk rock, DIY, anti-racist, visioning a sustainable future for our communities and our planet and working for it, right now.

      • I went to that! It was last Sunday, alas. I saw a flyer labeled Boston Hassle’s Black Market Flea: Pride Riot! and was like ummm YES? It was held at the Cambridge Community Center. Sorry you missed it!

        Apparently this flea market of local artists and DIY-ers happens regularly, though I’m not sure exactly how often. Most of the vendors I asked said it was their first time there.

        I also want to attend/learn about local non-bar-oriented queer community! Both in general because we all need more of it and specifically because I just moved back to Cambridge last month and want to meet new people. Do either of you know about other local clubs, etc?

        Gather Here in Inman Square has a very active crafting community, for anyone that might apply to. That’s all I know so far.

    • better advertised/not at bars is the biggest struggle!! every pride event this month I’ve actually been interested has been a) only found through a /lot/ of instagram digging and local creatives I follow bc they’re not given the money to advertise larger and b) 99% in 21+ spaces, which Chicago already almost always is, and as someone who moved here at 18 and won’t be of age until August, even independent/locally organized pride things have felt ‘not for me’. There’s so few if any fun queer events in accessible spaces, but at least it feels like we’re on trend to create more?

  8. As a disabled person with chronic pain, pride has never really felt like it was for me. I went to a pride kick off event at our local LGBT resource center, but there was no seating, besides bar stools. Which is a problem.

    I attempted to March in QueerBomb, Dallas and Austin’s alt pride, but I was not able to do the whole route with just my cane.

    I would love smaller group stuff, guided discussions, creative time with other queer folks, queer Shabbat, queer choir singing, group vocal jam, dance parties that start in the morning, accessible venues but that’s asking a lot.

    Not here for cops. They dont make me feel safer and make my friends feel less safe than they would without them there. Transformative justice would be a nice thing to focus on during pride month and always but wish we could use this month as a starting place for what that looks like community to community.

    • I have a question for you.

      Say there was electric-powered easy chair, like the kind people have as furniture that was souped up enough to roll and last thru a whole parade route would have been willing to ride that?

      But yes more accessible venues and chairs, not everybody can haul a folding camp chair or even stool with them.
      What kind of creative stuff if you don’t mind answering another question?

      • It would absolutely help! However, I do not own one, nor do I think my insurance would pay for it. I couldn’t even get them to pay for doctor prescribed physical therapy. I have been taking advantage of establishments that have wheelchairs for rent, like museums and stuff, but those usually still require someone to push who is physically able to.

        I draw, collage, make zines, dance, would like to sing and make music with people for fun, not really to commodify. (I know that takes a mental and physical energy and time to do and is a privilege btw)

  9. I am very new to Minneapolis pride fest, only getting into the last two years.

    First year was baby-gay year, and was overstimulating as all new things are for me (I am an asbergers neuro-divergent). Second year was first year of hormones. I only got into Autostraddle and educating myself in queer history last October.

    So this year I’m fully out as a transgender polysexual-lesbian who’s Demi or gray-ace (still can’t figure out which) who’s also polyamorous. And for me it’s been a way to measure my growth. I see pride as a way to meet new people, if only i can work throw my awkward anxieties. Just the reassurance of thousands of people that are like me in some way,that I’m not alone, means so much to me.

    I only learned in depth about police abuse of our community, of people of color, and of religious minorities recently. I knew some of what was going on, but I grew up with the ‘its not me’ mentality. I was a shit when I was younger.

    I want to be a good ally to everyone. I’m discriminated against for trans-ness, and I’m of the mind that no one should ever feel like I have felt, for anything. Be it race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or any intersection of these identities and more. I’m clueless I’ll admit and an introvert. And neuro-divergent.

    I’d like to see more education at prides. I only just learned about the Stonewall riots. Also, Education on how to be a good ally, and how to participate or help people in all of the communities that are marginalized.

    I want to also have a pillow fort. I’m absolutely serious. The namesake webcomic fandom (namesake has a wonderful fandom of all the feels. They have created what is called “the pillow fort o’feels”. The following link ( has a map of how it would look. It’s wonder and silly, but a real world version i think has merit. A community space to meet people, isolate if needed from overstimming, a nap corner, an iced water cooler, queer library, and whatever you guys could add. I honestly don’t know if it’s practical, but I love the vibe of it.

    Tldr;good pride=pillow fort o’feels

    • Hey, Queen Isabella!

      If you’re not already a member, and you Do The Facebook, check out the TC Post-Pride Organization ( So far we pretty much only exist on FB, but we’re a small group of cranky anti-capitalist queers exploring alternatives to the corporate-sponsored, police-heavy Pride events that seem so prevalent right now.

  10. Okay for parades I’m thinking something between Chewbacchus and Zulu which is getting kinda hard for me to summarize what I mean because I’ve lived here my whole life and so I’m not sure if I need a glossary with pics and video clips to be understood by people who didn’t grow up with Mardi Gras but I’m going to do my best without that.

    Historically speaking Zulu is not just a parade or a deb ball but part of a Benevolent Aid Society which was like “the first forms of insurance in the Black community where, for a small amount of dues, members received financial help when sick or financial aid when burying deceased members” and probably was in structure closer to a walking krewe like Chewbacchus is.

    By that I mean DIY as heck, anything resembling a float was member created/provided, no artist was hired and commissioned to create stuff.

    Of course Zulu today is a major krewe with much deeper pockets the Adopt-a-School program and Southern University Scholarship Fund are two big ticket things I know of.

    So what I’m trying to get across is an organization that does put on a parade but is also a social aid group that operates all year around in a variety of charitable ways.
    For a Pride group that could be a queer shelter of some kind,food pantry a scholarship fund for kids that have been disowned. And the scholarship fund could go to more that just a 4 year university it could go to trade school, apprenticeship fees, or a GED fund.
    Also legal funds for fighting discrimination.

    Now to get to some Chewbacchus bits
    They have their own parade escort team, the Redshirts.
    I don’t know if I have to explain what parade escort does but at the most basic level it’s about keeping the road clear and the parade moving.

    Sub krewes; think the leather daddies section, the dykes on bikes, something that fits under pride but is a bit specific. Like Chewbacchus is a sci-fi and fantasty group has the Rolling Elliots, uh some Whovian Group I can’t remember and sometimes a Monty Python and the Holy Grain group.

    Krewes have membership fees, but I’m thinking sub-krewes could have a fund to make sure everybodies’ dues are covered.
    And dues could be on a sliding scale if someone can’t be paying yearly but wants to march.
    Still paying to march in pride sounds fucked up no matter the money goes to a charitable group that does charitable things for the community.

    Kay so now I’m going to try to describe things I’ve seen Chewbaccus
    Wheelchairs, trikes and bikes made into mini floats most commonly to my memory is the Millennium Falcon because the shape is long and not very tall and it can be sectioned to maintain maneuverability of the vehicle while still being recognizable.
    Once I saw a kid’s wheelchair decked out as an AT-ST and the legs moved with the wheels it was awesome.
    What I’m trying to get at is a float does not have to be big and put the wheelchairs up front, not in the back.

    But how to make a parade accessible for the audience is planning the route, how much parking will be available in this or that part of town. Is that part of town old as heck with very few curb cuts or what? An option that just popped into my is reserving an handicap area along the route the way some of the hotel etc make viewing stands around here but obviously not something users would have to pay for.
    It would be something the krewe dues would go towards but the issue is how to make sure the people that need the handi-thing (handi-stand sounds WRONG) get to use it because a gate-keeping handicap resource could get really fucking ugly.

    This post is a mess, good luck reading this y’all

    Also google some parade footage if you can for Chewbacchus to get an idea of scale compared mainline float krewes, and electric-powered La-Z-boy chairs krewes too.

  11. There’s a pride shirt or banner I want to see…a rainbow diptych using portraits of Pride-related historical queer figures like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Brenda Howard, Miss Major and more.

    • The proceeds if it’s a t-shirt should go to Miss Major’s retirement fund or a queer shelter.

    • Thank you! I always wonder why Brenda Howard usually gets left off the list of Stonewall / Pride pioneers. I guess it’s just standard bi-erasure. It had me wondering for a bit if her contributions were just exaggerated, but there are some reputable sources out there saying she organized the first Pride March.

  12. This year I’ll be in London during Pride season and might be looking for alternatives to the main event. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  13. I agree we need to scale it back. To do this though I think we all need to get ourselves onto Pride committees to organise shit, where we can.

    Then I would advocate for:

    Removing floats from the parade so big corporations have less advertising space.

    Hiring a bunch of community spaces in the city to run sober spaces, workshops, craft activities ,etc. alongside the party stuff.

    Removing barriers to marching in a Pride parade (my local Pride always deprioritises community groups and wants to take people’s names to give to the police).

    Stop working with the police. Sure inform them of the route, but I agree they shouldn’t be visibly at Pride. Community members can steward our own shit.

    Talk to cis het people about their participation. I used to think, in my naivete, that the people from Apple with the giant rainbow flag were the LGBT+ staff members. Nope. What are these straight people thinking? And don’t get me started on the “ally flag”.

  14. While reading the comments I imagined a large park where Pride was simply a potluck with an open mic. People sharing their stories and connecting with each other gaining sense of community. It was a beautiful thought…

  15. Seattle has multiple events on Pride weekend: a Trans Pride march and festival on Friday, another Pride festival on Saturday, and a giant Pride Parade and festival on Sunday. The Friday and Saturday events are on Capitol Hill, Seattle’s historic gayborhood, while the Sunday event is downtown.

    The Saturday and Sunday events feel more commercial and driven by the cis-white male contingent. So, I’m glad Trans Pride exists as a more inclusive event for our community. There’s always a great slate of activist speakers to rally the crowd, plus a bunch of booths for LGBTQ+ community organizations. Accessibility is baked into the event planning. I’m sure some of the attendees are allies, but it definitely feels like an event that centers trans, POC, and disabled experiences.

    I would love to see more Pride event organizers uplifting marginalized folks and de-emphasizing corporate involvement. Some ideas:

    -Require parade applicants to meet certain baseline criteria for inclusivity and advocacy in their year-round operations

    -Limit or eliminate use of corporate logos (maybe only nonprofits and queer-owned businesses should be allowed to use logos?)

    -Encourage parade participants to include educational signage in their floats or displays (e.g. LGBTQ+ history, homages to LGBTQ+ individuals who shaped the local area, statistics about how current public policies impact LGBTQ+ lives, sexual health information)

    -Provide free accessible spaces for spectators (e.g. elevated seating areas, smoke-free zones, low-stimulation tents)

  16. I know that correlation does not imply causation. However, it feels relevant to me that police presence and capitalism are both rising issues at Pride.

    The history of policing, especially in the US, is deeply tied to both racism and capitalism. The purpose of the police is to protect property as much as (if not more than) it is to protect (rich, white, male) people.

    I wonder how much you could fix both problems by really addressing one. Kick out big corporate sponsors with no ties to the queer community, and maybe you’d have fewer people insisting that we have to have a strong police presence. Refuse to let the police attend in an official capacity (beyond the single car that many cities allegedly require at the beginning of all parades), and perhaps Target, Best Buy, US Bank, and other large corporate sponsors will suddenly decide Pride isn’t “safe” for them and pull out.

    In either case, we’d be left with a much smaller, more intimate, community-led, DIY kind of Pride. Which is what I think a lot of us want to go back to.

  17. I want to have fun in my city this month, but I’m just so absolutely exhausted. I found out about Chicago’s “Pride in the Park” recently – a $50 a ticket music festival w/ headliners iggy azalea and steve aoki?!?!?! And am just tired. Companies everywhere are advertising ~limited edition pride goods~ with a dollar or two going to an already over-funded local nonprofit, which is NOTHING but makes them look good as a baseline. In the post American marriage equality environment, it seems like Pride has been fully taken over as a capitalist, exploitative event because “no one is really oppressed anymore”, which is incorrect on so many levels.

    I’m tired of assimilation and performative activism and I just want to find like minded people to organize elsewhere and accessibly OR go curl up in a cave forever.

    It’s hard to not want to contribute, but to still want to celebrate? I’m not sure where the middle ground is. If anyone’s found a leatherdyke community in chicago that I want so desperately to learn and grown in and around please let a girl know.

Comments are closed.