My take on the #BlackLivesMatter protest – In principle I support their cause, I support the protest. After all, the GLBT community has done similar things to raise awareness and attention to the cause. Not unlike ACT UP demanding support for people living with HIV/AIDS in the late 80s.
Think of that.
#BlackLivesMatter not queer? Did you know that it was started by two Lesbians? #TheMoreYouKnow
Now about those demands. I read the list, and I have no issue with the demands – though we’ll talk about the police one in a few points. That said, they’re not that radical:
– Spaces for people of colour have been dwindling for years. I’ve noticed it for a while. This does need to change and I agree with continued space for Black Queer Youth, Blockorama, the South Asian Stage and funding.
– Self Determination – Has been a cornerstone of Canadian ideology and our community, yes.
– Increasing representation from marginalized communities within the gay community? Absolutely
– Public Town Hall – Why not? I don’t think this is a bad idea.
Now, regarding the demands that police not be involved with Pride. I’ll be honest, I’m mixed about this one – hear me out.
On one hand, this year, I actually felt okay and somewhat thankful with police active patrolling on the streets. It was weird to see, but given what’s happened in Orlando and other situations for violence I welcomed it.
On the flip side, you can understand my reluctance to trust police when they raid establishments (Pussy Palace anyone?), when they turn up the heat on gay establishments (The Toolbox, The Eagle, Woody’s and other bars). I’ve had friends beaten up by police for being a faggot – and yes, I choose my words carefully there. I’ve got friends in the force, as I’ve mentioned in the past, afraid to come out because regardless of the displays of affection to our community shown on the weekend, behind the scenes it’s still a different matter.
I can guarantee that there are many a queer person who at one point or another, from at least pre-2005 who would to tell the police to take a flying fuck – Again, I pick my words carefully because THAT is certainly what has gone through the minds of every gay person of my generation or earlier.
I can understand the desire to see considerably less to no police presence as requested by Black Lives Matter. If we think the GLBT had it bad, we all know that Black and people of colour get it logarithmically worse with racial profiling and everything else that goes with being a person of colour.
Back on the flip side of the flip side, you have gay people, people of colour and people who represent both within the police force. There are people who, I believe, are trying to make change happen.
All things considered, I choose to go with being reconciliatory, and I believe in kaizen. Ultimately though, reverse discrimination doesn’t work for me.
I don’t consider this a hijacking. It’s a group with some valid concerns that needs answers and real change. A whole lot of people need change, this change. Considering it was a relatively short delay versus the several hour delays we’ve had in past years, there’s no reason to get all bent out of shape about that.