After Orlando, one would assume LGBT gatherings are at heightened risk of terrorist attacks. But never let that stand in the way of an identity politics focus group making an idiotic political statement.
As LGBT event hikes security after Orlando, participation meant choosing between the threat of homophobic violence and police violence, group says
Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco
Friday 24 June 2016
Several of the honorees of San Francisco Pride, the nation’s largest LGBT pride event, withdrew on Friday from the “racial and economic justice” themed parade and festival this weekend in response to the increased policing measures put in place after the Orlando attack.
“For us, celebrating Pride this year meant choosing between the threat of homophobic vigilante violence and the threat of police violence,” said a statement from Black Lives Matter, an organizational grand marshal; Janetta Johnson, a community grand marshal; and sex worker advocacy group St James Infirmary, a “Heritage of Pride” award recipient.
“We had a tough decision to make, and ultimately we chose to keep our people safe by not participating in any event that would leave our communities vulnerable to either.”
On Tuesday, SF Pride announced that this year’s events would have a “significant police presence” and that, for the first time in the celebration’s 46-year history, attendees at the festival would be required to pass through security screening. The decision was made in the wake of the mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed.
Many LGBT people of color expressed concern with that news, citing the historic targeting and harassment of communities of color by police.
“I’m more afraid of police than terrorists,” Johnson, who is a black transgender woman, told the Guardian on Tuesday.
The ACLU of northern California also criticized the decision, writing in a blog post: “Cops in the clubs won’t make people feel safer. And SF Pride should not be an excuse to over-police the city’s most vulnerable communities.”