• NYC Pride: It was nice to see Pride events return to NYC this past weekend. Rainbows were everywhere in the city from Rockefeller Center (above) to Washington Square and everywhere else. And ABC News covered the entire 3-hour parade! You can watch it here.
• CNN: California will ban state-funded travel to five new states (Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia) over their “discriminatory” LGBTQ laws, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday, citing the importance of “aligning our dollars with our values.”
• Right Wing Watch: Right-wing pastor Greg Locke used his sermon on Sunday to allege that there are child-trafficking “tunnels” under the Capitol and White House and accuse Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Hanks of being “a bunch of pedophiles.” This is a seriously hot cup of crazy. Hit the play button.
Right-wing pastor Greg Locke used his sermon today to allege that there are child-trafficking “tunnels” under the Capitol and White House and accuse Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Hanks of being “a bunch of pedophiles.” pic.twitter.com/hYC864ir8a
• TMZ: In a recent interview praising Las Vegas Raider Carl Nassib for coming out, former NFL player Bruce Smith said there was a gay player (maybe two) on the 1990s Buffalo Bills teams but it “didn’t matter to us.”
• NY Daily News: 24 people at a Sydney, Australia birthday party tested positive for the COVID delta variant. Only 6 party attendees — health care workers — were spared. Only those 6 were vaccinated.
• Twitter: Donald Trump Jr., son of ‘the former guy,’ posted a wild, slurring, disjointed rant against President Joe Biden that careened from claims about hacking McDonald’s to Biden giving the nuclear football to Putin. The Twitterverse didn’t know what to think of the seemingly drunken/stoned performance.
Heritage of Pride, the group that organizes New York City Pride events each year, reversed it’s decision to ban gay armed police officers in uniform from marching in this year’s Pride Parade last night.
The original decision, announced last week, sparked days of controversy voiced by the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL).
So, last night the general membership voted to allow uniformed gay officers to march in the parade
“By a 55-40% margin (5% abstaining), they voted to let GOAL march in uniform with concealed weapons but NOT to have an ‘NYPD’ contingent in the parade,” wrote Andrew Humm on Facebook. “Andre Thomas, the co-chair, resigned as did some other people of color at the meeting who were left in tears.”
But at 1:30am, the HOP board announced they had reversed the reversal, saying they “voted to set a new policy regarding GOAL’s participation in an effort to be mindful and focus on our mission of creating safe space for marginalized communities.”
“It fell under our purview to do so, as elected representatives of this organization,” continued the board. “We firmly believe that this decision is in the best interest of our community.”
Having decided the officers “will not march armed and in police uniforms,” the board shared it may consider allowing gay officers to march out of uniform and without armed weapons.
The Executive Board of HOP cited past actions by police officers against LGBTQ people and POC as the reasons for excluding armed police officers in uniform.
The NYPD, and policing across America, is fundamentally flawed. These are institutions started as slave patrols, and continue to oppress Black, Brown, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and individuals who stand at the intersections of these identities.
Over their lifetime, Black men have a 1 in 1000 chance of being killed by the police. LGBQ people are six times more likely to be stopped by the police.
Nearly 3 out of 4 of lethal anti-LGBT hate crimes committed against transwomen and girls.
Transgender individuals who survive violence are 3.7 times more likely to experience police violence compared to non-transgender survivors and7times more likely to experience physical violence when interacting with the police.
Until 2021, transpeople in New York could be arrested for wearing clothes that did not correspond with their sex assigned at birth. And after over 267 complaints related to abuse of force by NYPD when dealing with protesters, only two officers have faced serious disciplinary action.
In the past year, as Black Lives Matter protests spread across the nation following the murder of George Floyd and other Black men, HOP notes that NYC police officers attacked queer people who took part in the protests.
HOP also points out that the gay rights movement was born out of a vicious 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar.
That said, due to pressure from LGBTQ advocacy groups, the NYPD issued an official apology in 2019 for the 1969 raid as well as for years of brutal treatment of LGBTQ people in the city. In their statement last week, GOAL made note of the work being done by gay police officers to improve relations between police and the LGBTQ community.
As I reported last night, the New York Times editorial board penned an op-ed this week calling the banning of gay police officers by HOP a “misstep.” The Times added that the decision “disproportionately affects L.G.B.T.Q. police officers, many of whom have been fighting for reforms; they shouldn’t be judged, and even set back, by the worst behavior of their colleagues.”
New York City’s annual Pride celebration, which began 51 years ago as a defiant commemoration of an anti-police uprising and has evolved into a city-sanctioned equality jamboree, will take steps to reduce the presence of law enforcement at its events.
Starting this year, police and corrections officers will also not be allowed to participate as a group in the annual Pride march until at least 2025. The ban includes the Gay Officers Action League, an organization of L.G.B.T.Q. police, which announced the news in a statement on Friday night.
The New York Police Department will also be asked to stay a block away from the edge of all in-person events, including the march. Heritage of Pride, which organizes events, will instead turn to private companies for security and safety, calling police officers in emergencies only when necessary, they said.
NYC Pride announced steps to take the NYPD out of Pride, including banning police from marching in a group. https://t.co/S0XnqzFzby
The uprising for social justice and equality in America, which has been expanding exponentially over the past weeks, is not unique to this country. It has become the catalyst for demonstrations and protests around the world.
But in some countries conversations about equality especially for LGBTQ+ people are illegal and silenced. Queer artists have no stage for their voice or work and are forced to go outside their own countries for the freedom to express who they are.
This one-of-a-kind event showcases queer and trans artists from countries that criminalize or censor LGBTQ+ communities.
The festival, an official event of NYC Pride, builds a global queer community rooted in activism and dedicated to the equitable treatment of LGBTQ+ people around the world.
Through a dozen online performances, conversations, and masterclasses, the Criminal Queerness Festival brings together queer artists, activists, and audiences to address global homophobia and transphobia. All events are free.
A schedule, event details, and direct links can be found at dixonplace.org.
Originally curated as a live theater festival, the second annual Criminal Queerness Festival has been modified in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The programming centers on the work of four international queer artists whose new plays were scheduled to premiere at Dixon Place in June.
Migguel Anggelo, a Venezuelan-born, Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist
Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Winner
Amahl Khouri, a queer, transgender, Jordanian playwright and theater-maker based in Berlin
Omer Abbas Salem, a Chicago-based actor and playwright originally from Syria, Turkey, and Egypt.
Adam Odsess-Rubin, Artistic Director of National Queer Theater said, “While we can’t gather in person to experience the work of these brave playwrights, I’m humbled that the second edition of the Criminal Queerness Festival has transformed into a truly global event. By moving online, audiences all over the world can now experience the festival’s powerful message that all people deserve the basic human rights of happiness, respect, and safety.”
Detailed descriptions for each event available HERE
Lawrence Pfeil, Jr., is a freelance writer/playwright who has reviewed film and theatre, both on and off-Broadway, for media outlets including The Randy Report, the New York Blade, and Edge Publications. You can follow him at TheOUTfront.com.
Heritage of Pride, the organization that runs the march, made the announcement Monday, shortly after New York Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the cancellation of permits for all large events for the month of June.
“This probably will not surprise you,” De Blasio said at a coronavirus briefing before announcing the cancellation of June’s Celebrate Israel, Puerto Rican Day and LGBTQ pride parades. The mayor promised these events would go on in some format “when it’s the right time.”
“This year is the 50th anniversary of the pride parade, and it’s a very, very big deal,” De Blasio said in Monday’s briefing. “That march is such an important part of life in this city, but this year in particular it was going to be something that was a historic moment.”
That first pride march, held in June 1970 a year after the Stonewall riots, is often regarded as the beginning of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
Last year’s events, celebrating the Stonewall uprising, drew more than 5 million people to the city.
This year’s NYC Pride events were scheduled to commence June 14 with Janelle Monaé and Pussy Riot set to perform.
Heritage of Pride has announced a plan to coordinate with InterPride, an international organization comprised of local, regional and national pride planning organizations, to participate in a 24-hour virtual, online “Global Pride” scheduled for June 27.
“The plan is to have this 24-hour program that will be a worldwide celebration of pride,” said Ron deHarte, co-president of the United States Association of Prides and a member of the InterPride organizing committee.
“It will peak in time zones around the world, and in each of those time zones, those regional pride organizations and those local pride organizations will be directly involved in that programming component,” added deHarte.
Several major cities in the U.S. have already announced similar news about their local Pride events. Los Angeles postponed, San Francisco canceled and Seattle plans to “go virtual.”
It's with a sad heart that we let everyone know that Mayor De Blasio has made the decision to cancel all June in-person gatherings, including NYC Pride events, in response to the ongoing health crisis.