Caressa Wong’s previous work for Coming of Faith can be found here.
In the wake of a historic SCOTUS decision, and among bittersweet feelings about Pride, people finally took to the streets to voice their frustration via die-in and protest. On the 29th, #BlackOutPride trended on Twitter and halted the parade with unstoppable intent. Silenced by the neo-liberal and depoliticized modern LGBTQ+ movement, a total of 8 protesters were detained by Chicago Police (who, ironically, were also marching in the parade) and eventually bailed out via gogetfunding.
One of the most important messages voiced by protesters and supporters alike is that Pride shouldn’t be, and wasn’t, a party. Pride is, was, and always has been an event started by the pain of black trans women in Stonewall. Pride events were created by black, trans trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson, of Stonewall fame, who fought for her very survival. Instead of parade floats or beer, June 28, 1969 held riots against a police raid that eventually called for gay liberation.
Our Pride has been supported by their struggling, and now the majority wants to exacerbate that pain by celebrating but not working towards change. From Obama’s incident with Jennicet, we’ve been presented the perfect quote to show us the worst side of the LGBTQ+ movement that’s hidden in plain view, “This is not for you. This is for us.” That’s right. And queer, specifically trans, people of color are here to take it back.
"STAND UP, DON'T BE QUIET, STONEWALL WAS A FUCKING RIOT" pic.twitter.com/ycGfBoaISc
— Rah Cantaloupe (@RahCantaloupe) June 28, 2015
Ooop. When your pride float gets stuck at intersectionality. #BlackOutPride
— Dana White (@ItsDanaWhite) June 28, 2015
Race was rightfully brought up by #BlackOutPride, The mainstream movement as it exists now doesn’t work towards relieving oppression for non-white members. It seeks the assimilation that comes naturally to the privileged few, doesn’t aim for genuine solidarity, and it ignores the voices of those whose sufferings can’t be relieved by representation or further legislation. The combination of Blackout and Pride highlighted the ever-important issue that police presence in our Pride will not be tolerated so long as they continue to destroy queer, black lives.
Best sign at #BlackOutPride “Rainbows are just reflected white light”! Gay pride is racist! http://t.co/zepC6mu47E pic.twitter.com/7qzwwkrrHl
— ¡El Soopèr! ن c137 🦬 (@SooperMexican) June 28, 2015
They call upon issues that radical queers have been championing for for decades. Namely:
-End Stop and Frisk
-End the Policing of Trans and Queer Youth
-Reopen Schools and Mental Health Clinics
-No New Police, No New Jails
-Demilitarize Around the Globe
-End Corporate Exploitation of Our Community
-No More Wage Theft
-Trans and Queer Shelters Now
Thank goodness for #BlackOutPride. We didn't riot at Stonewall for BP floats. #ChicagoPrideParade
— Elizabeth Swanson (@eswanson972) June 29, 2015
Chicago #BlackOutPride activists: marginalized youth are surveilled by police with the cooperation of LGBT orgs: http://t.co/5lyFsnLkHK
— mackenzian (@mackenzian) June 29, 2015
And things got ugly. I guess they thought we’d let them get away with silencing the truth of the movement, huh? No can do.
From issues on the ground…
White people were physically intimidating organized protesters #BlackOutPride #LoveWins I think not.
— HarrietTaughtMe (@veebars_) June 28, 2015
To bigoted onlookers…
Because protesting for racial equality by disrupting an event for another kind of equality makes a lot of sense. Thanks, #BlackOutPride.
— morgue 💀 (@ssMORGasbord) June 29, 2015
#BlackOutPride how stupid can you get is a rhetorical question, not a challenge
— baconinfidel (@CVN70MM2Nuke) June 29, 2015
#BlackOutPride just couldn’t catch a break.
But they didn’t let the haters get them down, and just kept right on doing their thing despite adversity from Pride attendees, vocal opposition on the Internet, and even police interference.
Conversations about the parade today are not complete without a discussion about why #BlackOutPride happened and why it is important.
— meg zandi (@megzandi) June 29, 2015
After facing years of fake and destructive allyship from greedy companies and political strategists, #BlackOutPride achieved in utilizing their technique of disruption and have finally broke into the mainstream with issues that need to be heard. It’s my hope, and my belief, that those who understand the mission will continue to work towards achieving it’s end goals in a very vocal and demonstrative manner.
Solidarity with the black queer folks in Chicago who organized the #BlackoutPride action. Needs to happen at every pride nationwide
— Dana White (@ItsDanaWhite) June 28, 2015