I am a queer woman. I will not be attending another Pride.

I am a bisexual, black woman. I have been out for over 3 years, but had yet to attend a Pride parade, so I wanted today to be my first. I hold issue with a lot of aspects of Pride festivals, including its insidious corporate stronghold and inclusion of uniformed police in the parades. But like so many people, I thought I could shelve the voice in my head in favor of queers in tutus, party floats, and rainbow confetti.

After the experience I had, I will never attend another Pride parade, and if you have any sense of allyship, you will examine the ways you celebrate Pride, too.

 

Today I stood in the crowd on Hennepin Ave and 12th Street, waiting for the parade to start with my friends. An hour rolled past. I started to wonder what was going on when a group protesting police involvement in Pride walked down the route and stopped at our intersection. Anyone who knows me knows that I am pro-community, anti-police, and anti-white-supremacy. So naturally, I threw a fist up in solidarity and loudly screamed along with them: “No cops! No KKK! No racist USA!

No one else around me joined in: I looked around and saw that I was the only black person within the 50 or so uncomfortable white people at this intersection. Unfazed, I continued to loudly cheer and support the protesters’ chants for the remainder of their time at our intersection. It was disheartening to me that this crowd was so resistant to the activists’ message considering Minneapolis police had just murdered yet another civilian just the night before. There could not have been a better time to talk about the issue of policing in Minneapolis, and using Pride no less: a platform that originally began in direct opposition of the police. I have no doubt that corporations turning Pride into a bubbly, love-fest (only now that queerness is cool and profitable, cough cough) is a big reason why the people who attend it now would rather cheer for police than ever pick up a rock at the sight of them. Despite the fact that police are still overwhelmingly discriminatory against the LGBTQ+ community.

As the activists moved away, two white men behind me started to complain about the protest. Two of my friends had left to use the bathroom, leaving me and one of my other friends (who is white) alone. It was as the two of us were waiting that I overheard one of the men say the protest was “unnecessary.” Annoyed, I turned around and said, “Dude, the fact that you’re saying all this shit means it definitely was necessary.”

Without looking me in the eyes, he replied, “I mean, I get it, but it’s a parade.”

At this point, my friend spoke up saying, “Bringing awareness to people’s lives is more important than a parade.”

I agreed. “Also, if you actually got why this is happening, you wouldn’t be fucking complaining, you’d be supporting it. But I can see from your Target rainbow glasses that you probably don’t see an issue with Pride being run by corps and cops.”

Did I get an attitude with this man? 100%. I don’t regret it either. I’m absolutely tired of white people rolling their eyes at protests and putting their desire to be comfortable over the human rights violations happening to their neighbors of color. I’m tired of having to listen to white people throw their uneducated opinions into the wind, not caring who gets hurt when it’s inevitably carried to their ears.

I’m tired.

The white man’s friend decided that this is when he would join in the conversation. He was wearing shades so I couldn’t see his eyes, but I definitely saw his creepy smile as he said, “Oh she doesn’t like capitalism or cops. If you don’t like it here then you should leave and go back to where you came from.”

In the words of one of my favorite queers, Jonathan Van Ness:

Let’s unpack that.

A white man…presumably queer, if not queer-adjacent…at a pride parade…a supposedly inclusive event…told the only black person there that they should go back to where they came from. He said nothing to my white friend standing right next to me who clearly also felt the same way as me. It was me he singled out to leave the country.

I’ve got a couple ideas as to why. It could have been because I’m loud. Perhaps my sports bra and shorts combo offended him. Maybe it was because I was black, and a woman, and had the audacity to step out of my place on the hierarchal ladder and speak against him. Maybe it was because my strong Minnesotan accent mistakenly screamed “foreigner” to him.

I’m bisexual, so I like to consider more than one option, but one of these feels more likely than the others.

Have you ever had a moment where things seem to slow down? Where your head goes from being slightly tilted in confusion, to looking at someone dead in the eyes, your back straightening out, feet planted, no waver in your voice?

That was me when I looked at this smiling white man, pointed at him, and said, “Fuck. You. I was born here, asshole. And even if I wasn’t…fuck you!” [Side bar y’all, I’ve dreamt of this moment where a white person would step outta line with me and I’d have to scream in their face, and it finally happened, and I did not disappoint myself.]

 

He smirked, “Well this is a capitalist country. If you don’t like it, leave. We don’t want you here.”

My friend is backing me up (bless him, an actual ally) but I’m not listening because at this point, an older white man in front of me turns around to me and says, “You need to be quiet. There are kids around.”

“THE KIDS?” I laughed in disbelief. “This man is literally spouting racist bullshit to me but what you’re advocating for right now are the kids?? You’re not going to tell HIM to shut up?”

Everyone is watching us at this point. I know this because, 1) I’m absolutely screaming and, 2) I took a moment to look directly in the eyes of every white person standing around us, and said, “Every single one of you listening to this man say racist things to me? All of you not speaking up? You are part of the problem.”

I still can’t believe I said all the things I did. My hands were shaking and my head was pounding as if I’d gone days without water, and that crowd of white people was the Sahara.

Finally, a man goes, “Hey dude, even if you disagree with her, you’re out of line.” Other people start to speak up too, while the racist men just shake their heads and try to defend themselves as if their amused by it all. I’m speechless when a young woman steps up to me and goes, “Would you like to move over here? Away from them?” I let her pull me and my friend aside, and I watch as a few people — just a few — attempt to tell the racist man off.

One man comes up to me and goes, “I’m sorry that happened, but I just want you to know that more of us stand with you than there are those that think like him.” And I looked at him, voice shaking as I tried my hardest not to cry, and said,

“If that was the truth, then you should have stood up sooner and drowned him out.”

Then my friend and I left.


This is not the Pride that should be, but it’s the Pride that is. One where queer people of color do not find solidarity with their white counterparts. Where we do not feel safe.

Every white person that I told about this incident acted shocked. But there’s nothing suprising about this to people of color, because it’s what we’ve always known: queerness has never stopped white people from perpetuating white supremacy. There are queer racists. And because of this, our queer experiences have never been the same, and queer spaces have never felt truly safe.

You may be thinking, “this was just one incident, how can you generalize,” but what you need and absolutely must understand is that for every one incident that you hear about, 100, 200, 500, are happening that you don’t. Either because it’s happening outside your circle of friends, or to someone who doesn’t feel comfortable with talking about it, or to someone who’s plain scared to talk about it. My black, queer experience at Pride is not an anomaly. You just aren’t listening.

And if you are listening, if you’ve made it this far into this essay, this is your call to action: stop supporting corporate Pride. Stop supporting police at Pride (or anywhere else for that matter, but we can start there I guess). Start listening to and supporting the queer people of color who would also rather be celebrating and not using their time to bring attention to injustices. And for the love of god – if you consider yourself an ally to people of color, you need to use your voice and your body and your privilege to protect them from those who would fight to see them gone. We’ve come too far to allow racists, and those who would allow them to speak, a place in our community.

And if you’re reading this and you were there, and you remember a 5’4″ black woman staring down a racist white man at the parade today, and you didn’t say anything? I do not forgive you. You must do better next time.

There is no Pride in silence.
Shut it down.

52 thoughts on “I am a queer woman. I will not be attending another Pride.

  1. I’ve never been to a pride. I live in a very rural place though. I fought a college to form a GSA with the help of Lambda Legal. After reading this article I get why people don’t want the boat rocked. It is one time of the year where they feel somewhat accepted and normal. No one wants to turn that one time into a knock down drag out over issues that people protest often in other venues.
    The protestors might get their points across but a vast majority of people I imagine would view their points with deaf ears. The fact that they screamed and raised hell to win to the point of making others miserable. That is a risk that anyone seeking to bring change runs. You can either play the game in a way that people will respect namely smart or you can play to win at all costs with a large group of people hating you for making others miserable in the process. If gay people had continued to riot instead of peacefully protest or use public relations campaigns to their benefit. Gay people by far and large would not be accepted. Because you can either plan your agenda in a slash and burn way or play smart with long-term goals crafting a public image.

    Liked by 1 person

    • People are dying. Your “long-term public goals” and respectable ways to protest are bullshit and have no place in the revolution. It’s disingenuous and gross to put the responsiblity on those fighting for their rights to appeal to their oppressors in a way the oppressors deem “good.” We are not responsible for the ways those who oppose us choose to respond to our hurt and anger. If someone’s response to anger is to further ignore it, that is an active decision that reflects on THAT individual’s inhumanity and lack of empathy.

      Refrain from spreading this opinion as it is not only wrong, but harmful for the cause.

      Best wishes.

      Liked by 4 people

      • How many times have you ever listened to someone who made you miserable? I would guess NEVER!

        Like

      • Were they making me miserable for a reason? A child cries when it needs to be taken care of, regardless of whether it’s convenient. Humans are capable of working through their discomfort for the good of others. You just don’t want to.

        Goodbye.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Great post! I am a black bisexual feminist psychotherapist. Anyone on this thread who would be a naysayer is a hater, a sexist, a racist, a homophob — and the reason we have bigotry in this country. They are also the cause of why do many black women continue to experience racial trauma — and make no mistake, what you went through was racial trauma … and some of the comments I’ve read here are acts of racial violence.

        Have you read “The Becky Code”? You’ll love it if you haven’t read it already.

        Much love, stay strong, and put up with no shit!

        Like

      • You are beautiful and very well spoken/written. Thank you for sharing your truths. I hope it helps more people whom have experienced similar turmoil to find a voice and peace.
        I wish people around you would have stepped out of their comfort zone and did the right thing. Some times things in society become worse before they begin to get better. I pray every night that tomorrow it gets better. That more people will step out of their comfort zone and say enough is enough the hate in any direction or form needs to stop. I pray that more white people will wake up and realize that being a silent witness is as much of a problem as the racist/bigot/sexist aggressor is. Every time someone gets away with committing a racist/bigotry/sexist act they think it’s an ok thing to do. No act of hate no matter how discreet or minuet is acceptable and our Nation is suffering for it. We as a society are suffering due to the ignorance and (false) empowerment of racists and bigots. The time for change is NOW.

        Like

      • Gay people were dying in scores once upon a time, not to mention continue to be bashed, harassed, and mistreated by law enforcement. Very strange that you come to Pride to lecture people on how their goals no longer matter. This is not a zero sum game, stop trying to make it into one.

        Like

    • “After reading this article I get why people don’t want the boat rocked. It is one time of the year where they feel somewhat accepted and normal.”

      Dude. Do you listen to yourself? Do you read the words you write or do they spew out unthinkingly? She just spent this entire post saying how she did NOT feel accepted, at the “one time of year” when she should have been. I’ll point out that Mr. Kaepernick tried that whole peaceful protest and we saw how that’s gone over.

      You think because gay white men are tolerated usually and accepted sometimes that means that everything’s okay? WTF. It’s like white women saying “hey we got the vote in 1920, so s’all good now.” GTFOHWTBS

      Liked by 3 people

    • And with that you demonstrate that you are part of the problem. The same type of person who told Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to sit down and shut up, and complained that all those uppity black protesters were trying to push things too hard and too fast.
      Speaking as a white person, that’s bullshit. Absolute and total bullshit. People are being KILLED because of their colour and ethnic heritage, for their sexual orientation, for their gender identity. No major social change has ever come about by people being nice and passive and “going through proper channels”, because the “proper channels” are designed by those in power to prevent major social change.
      Gay rights would not exist in this country at this time without the Stonewall riot. No rights would exist in this country without all of the riots, mass demonstrations, and other coordinated protest actions. It took a long and bloody war to end slavery, something that almost none of those fighting to preserve it benefited from.
      Pride started as a protest, as an out, loud, angry, proud protest against the oppression of LGBTQ people. The corporatization of it was designed to purge the protest element because it made mainstream society too uncomfortable, and worked to sanitize it and make it acceptable to a culture that still has no use for LGBTQ people.
      If you’re being made miserable by people who are “screaming and raising hell” because they’re being routinely discriminated against, harassed, assaulted, and KILLED simply for being who they are, then you deserve to be made miserable, and I hope you’ll continue to remain miserable until the discrimination, harassment, assault, and killing stops.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Essentially you’re asking POC to have polite discourse with their oppressors, while people are being executed in the streets. This isn’t new, it’s just only become “news.”
      There are people alive who experienced in-your-face segregation, yet white people expect for POC to lift themselves up by their bootstraps and “overcome” their oppression.
      Segregation is still very real. Check out any school. I’m from Chicago, the most segregated city in the nation, but also one so liberal I’ve never been called a faggot or a dyke. Schools are funded by property taxes. Let that sink in. The school I taught at was surrounded by vacant lots, boarded up windows, and the streets littered with bullet shells, bodies, and blood. The police had their hand and their trigger fingers in everything.
      Go ahead, pick yourself up.
      Kids didn’t necessarily expect to die, but they sure as fuck didn’t expect to live.
      But yeah…
      On my dead homies, be polite.
      Fuck that.
      Eat the rich, the cops, and anyone who tellw POC to be nice to the people who continue to murder their people, either directly or indirectly (food deserts, education inequality, housing inequality, blatant discrimination in employment, healthcare, service, and the list could go on forever.)

      Liked by 2 people

    • What does that mean, exactly?

      I encourage you to learn about the Black experience in America, we’ve done all of the above, plus more. And still have a boot on our necks.

      Like

  2. Thank You Thank You Thank you !!!!! Was seriously considering attending my first pride parade today! Thank you.

    Like

  3. I want you to know that as a white, cis, bi woman, I am not at all surprised by your story. I’ve never attended Pride in the Twin Cities because it’s always seemed too..corporate. (I should note that I’ve only lived here since 2004). I see the injustice and I’m still learning how to speak up and use my privilege. I wish I had been there today to stand with you. I imagine all people of color must be tired of yelling into the abyss of white ignorance and “inconvenience”. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Like

  4. Thank you for standing up and speaking up today. I hate that Pride is a safe space for white supremacy and racism (and transphobia, and other BS too), and an unsafe space for so many of our trans and BIPOC community members. We protested in order combat that. I’m sorry that in doing so, we also put so many community members in the position you were in today. Let’s keep working for the day when the bigots are rare and afraid, and the rest of us have our liberation!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am with you. I an Caucasian but a strong fighter for justice, against racism, xenophobia, sexism and all the other ways that this system is dividing us. I go way back to when Stonewall happened. My best friend in college had to endure electro shocks because his parents were trying the gay out of him. This was in the 1960s. Pride today appears to be an opportunity for corporate branding. People need to take pride back.

    Like

  6. The way you were treated today was such fucking bullshit. I’m upset because I was literally just a block away from where you were, chanting along with the protesters too. And, I want you to know that if I had been by you and seen what went down I would’ve been right there with you raising my voice against those men. I know that doesn’t change anything, but I hope that it helps make you feel a little bit less alone in this fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was once at a demonstration to protest police brutality, in Portland. The demonstration was surrounded by a ring of cops, almost shoulder-to-shoulder. Someone said there was a sniper on a nearby rooftop. (I wonder how much patrolling was left undone because all those cops were there.) The cops even blocked off streets to isolate the protest.
    I want to have a protest like that every weekend, and maybe use up their budget in overtime.

    Like

  8. Yes! I read every word and my heart was beating as if I’d been there. And if I’d been there, I would have jumped right in. I’m sorry this was what happened at your first Pride but I’m grateful that you used the experience—and your brilliant writing—to paint us all a picture about what’s so wrong, and so deep-seated in our country. Brava.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Completely unacceptable. I’m so sorry. I was at the parade today by the women’s March way in back but had to leave due to severe back pain. If I had been there and seen this, my daughter and I would have stood up with you. Too many white people separate LGBTQ rights from police violence against people of color and it’s wrong and senseless. This should not have happened and I’m so sorry it did. Things need to change. Thanks for sharing this so people are aware and realize the hypocrisy.

    Like

  10. I had the exact same experience with two white women, and it got ugly real fast. I will never attend another pride either. It’s crazy that a festival created by a black transwoman to protest police is whitewashed, and no longer a place for queer people of color. I was on 9th and Hennepin by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m glad I went to the protest at the 4th precinct instead.
    These white queer fools and their FYIGM attitude while those in power are actively targeting them too.

    Like

  12. You’re absolutely right and I’m sorry you had to face it that day, and the other 364 days. Because it is every day. This past January, I had the responsibility of leading the local Women’s March. A week or two before the march, I posted an article about pussy hats and how they aren’t inclusive. And white, cisgendered, middle-class women chimed in to defend their pussy hats and how they’re liberal and why am I making waves? The article was an opinion piece posted on Medium from the perspective of a black woman. The commenters were so incredibly dismissive. It was literally like they’d checked the box of being “good/liberal/progressive” and that was all the work they ever needed to do. It was a pat on the back moment for them. In fact, one of the commenters took it upon themselves to explain race to a black man who was commenting about the importance of the article. But the listening and growing they wanted conservatives to do, they were unwilling to do themselves.

    Six weeks later, I organized a panel discussion for the local Black/White Doalogue group that meets monthly to talk about intersectionality. The panel was all black women to address the failings of the women’s movement to be inclusive, especially to women of color or the LGBTQ+ Community. Most walked away from that discussion (or so they told me) with their eyes a little more open and appalled by the actual history the didn’t know.

    I’m angered that Pride (the first place I felt safe as a gay woman when I was first coming out) has become a capitalist wet dream as well as continues to discriminate against communities of color. I’m so sick of discrimination against bi and trans people within the LGBTQ+ community. And don’t get me started on the ableism. The community that wants to be included is certainly good at excluding.

    I sure hope I can be part of the change. Because I’m tired of the gay rights movement being 99 percent led by cis, white, gay men.

    Like

  13. You’re right. Plain and simple, you are right. The only defence I have for people not speaking up is this is the most non-confrontational state I’ve ever seen. I’ve lived in many, Philly, Atlanta, Chicago, and this is By Far the most anti-confrontation place I’ve ever lived. Many of those people may have wanted to help, thought you were right, but just didn’t have the upbringing to step in. People need more courage up here, they need to learn that speaking up is more important than not offending. At least some of them helped, or got loud, or tried; it’s hard to give marks for just trying, but it is the first step. Personally, I would have hit him. (not saying you should, but I would’ve, but then again, I’m white and know I have privilege and will use it against assholes like that) I’m glad you got loud; you can teach others that it’s okay to get loud.

    Like

  14. I’m so sorry this was your first pride experience. I’m impressed with your strength and courage – it’s going to serve you well in your life.

    I personally wish pride events were MORE political, because everything is political, and we all should embrace this fact. I want to go to a pride event that is about raising consciousness, and hackles, and rallying for support of all folks across the LGBTQ spectrum.

    Be strong, firm, and resolved to be the change you want to see in the world. ❤️🏳️‍🌈

    Like

  15. I don’t go to pride celebrations at all, I have my reasons, mainly the fact that it has become a reason for a free for all orgy, and just makes folks think it’s ok to run around half naked in the streets. I can stay home and be proud of who I am and I remember what it’s all about.

    Like

  16. It’s always struck me as odd that people who are facing oppression, oppress others. It’s so contradictory to their own message. I mean how can you be in an event to celebrate your uniqueness and the fact that your being somewhat accepted then pull that? I don’t nor will ever understand people and the selfish attitudes some have. Our plight as GLBT people should be united on all fronts and accepting of other peoples realities. Instead what I have run into is that they are some of the most divided people and the worst can be our own group. I am a trans-woman and honestly have run into some very decisive other trans folks. So while it’s entirely wrong to act this way I can see that it would happen. What black people face every day is not nor should it be happening. As a black queer woman I can’t even image what you have had to overcome. Just know you have allies, but not always who you expect them to be. Those that you think should be the most open minded sometimes are not. Take it from me I was kicked out of the gay 90’s for using a woman’s restroom by a gay man that happened to be a trans woman therapist who worked their. Talk about a lesson in who is really an ally…

    Like

  17. Beautifully written article. As someone who is learning to speak up and use her voice more and more as a queer WOC, I admire the courage and strength it took to stand up for yourself alone. Your experience sounds soul-crushing, and I’m sorry that all the white people around you were too cowardly and ignorant to back you up.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I want to be a better ally.
    I’m conflicted on how to be of assistance in these situations without also being the unwanted white savior.
    I’ve been told to shut up and stay out of it when I was trying to be helpful, so I’m forever uncertain as to what to do.
    I don’t want to push in where I’m not wanted, but I don’t want to leave someone to fight on their own if they want my help.
    Any advice would be appreciated. I have pretty bad anxiety, which doesn’t help anybody, so bear that in mind.
    Thanks!

    Like

    • I can only answer from my own position as a member of a different disenfranchised group – I’m disabled, but white. I’ve had people jumping in to ‘help’ whether I needed it or not sometimes. What I prefer is if that person asks me first. “Do you want backup?”

      That lets me decide if I want to have a Teaching Moment with the idiot, if I’m enough righteous rage to rain down on them by myself, or if I just can’t deal with this idiocy right now and I’d like someone else to step in and take this one. It keeps your response centered on the needs of that other person, which is pretty much the opposite of White Knighting (White Knighting being when you ride in to the rescue and don’t really pay attention who you’re riding over to get there).

      Like

  19. Thank you for writing this. Truly, thank you. Stay strong sister and thank you for educating those of us that need it, and I am sorry you have to. You shouldn’t have to. But thank you for taking the time to do so.

    Like

  20. Hey there, loved the article and from my reading of the accounts of other black and brown people at Pride parades, your story is sadly not a unique experience.
    I remember when people complained about the police being excluded from the Montreal Pride Parade, and all I could think of was “Did they not know about how Stonewall happened, the literal policing of people’s bodies to adhere to a strict binary gender?”
    That was also incredibly brave of you to speak out and show your support for those protestors.

    Like

  21. You are 100% right. My local Pride parade was briefly held up for a similar protest this year, and I wish I had been there to lend my voice and visibility for support. The reaction here was also deeply pathetic, apathetic, and shameful. I loved this article, and I hope it jars at least some people to understand that it’s time to leverage our privilege for the equity of those who do not have it.

    Like

  22. I’m really sorry this happened to you. Beyond that, I’m sad it’s going on at all. Please know that I appreciate what you did. In sticking up for yourself, you stuck up for others, too. I get that you are no longer interested in attending pride events. That said, while I support your choices there, I hope I can urge you to reconsider. I think what you did was something pretty magic. I mean, you really took a massive negative and turned it into a positive. Look at all the people you reached! While I don’t think you should feel obligated to continually sacrifice yourself on that altar, I do hope you will think about whether you’re not exactly the type of person we, the inclusive-minded, that is, need at these events. You are PRECISELY the human I want at my side, and you are exactly the person who can stand up to bullies. Now, it’s not your job to do this. And, by gum, it is UNFAIR. The task was laid at your feet, though, and you did not shy away. I do not know what will be laid at your feet next year, and I certainly hope it’s not as heinous (those guys truly sound like turkeys), but maybe standing up to jerks, shouting loudly for what you believe in, and really just not backing down… Maybe that’s not the worst use of your time? Maybe you can benefit pride, an event palatable to a large audience, by being part of a wave of change and inclusivity? For me, standing up to bullies is a calling. I am a human rights and criminal defense attorney. I fight bullies on behalf of others every day. It’s not always all that awesome, and some days I wish I could just really scream at everyone. (You basically lived my dream in this way. It’s not allowed in court.) My way of life is not for everyone. Indeed, it’s not for most. But you’re so GOOD. You’d be so good for others. Your qualities are unique, valuable, and not that easy to find. I know you’ll continue to fight the good fight, I just hope you’ll consider which platform you’re going to make the biggest impact on. I hope you’ll consider law school. Regardless… You did well. Keep up the good work. ❤

    Like

  23. So disappointing. I am so sorry this was your experience. I’m a bit older and remember Pride from my 20s. For a time it was a celebration and remembrance of the Stonewall Riots and activists like Marsha P Johnson. Not this watered down corporate excuse to get day drunk while collecting free rainbow swag.

    Like

  24. How can I become a better ally for LGBTQ People of Color? Obviously, I need to speak up when I see injustice, racism, homophobia, etc. If I have extra money, where can it best be placed to ensure it benefits this community? Where can I volunteer?

    Like

  25. I’m sorry that happened to you, but I’m not surprised. I saw plenty of people complaining online about the protest when we knew about it ahead of time and the comments were very dismissive of the lives at risk at the hands of the police. Some people seem to think they own pride and its for their amusement.

    Like

  26. Just remember this quote by Dr. Maya Angelou. “I come as one, but I stand as ten thousand.” Your voice is more than your own, It’s all the voices of those who couldn’t be heard. I love how you’d been dreaming about this day, where you could confront a white suppremicist and not back down. I’ve wondered sometimes if I will rise to the occasion and shine when the moment of truth is upon me, when it’s necessary to take a stand and have the courage to defend myself or the oppressed. You did that. I’m in awe. I hope you will attend again. The only way to affect change is by standing in the light and not backing down. You already did this, but if you stay home next year, he ultimately wins. Live into the change, don’t stay away. Don’t let ignorant people like that guy shame you from attending. This is our Pride party and our parade! Not his. Hugs!

    Like

  27. I watched the protests online (did not go to the parade). That is what the WHOLE ROUTE was like: white people, at best, sitting in annoyed silence. I hadn’t really had that true moment of realizing the depths of racism in the white LGBTQ community – and this was an eye-opening moment. Thanks for posting this story, it connected with what I was seeing and made it even more real.

    Like

  28. This is so powerful. I love it when you say “. . . it finally happened, and I did not disappoint myself.” May we all live up to our ideals. I really admire you.

    Like

  29. Welcome to the far left, sister.
    We’re all tired of the hypocrisy of the palatable family friendly Disney version of Liberalism. We’re tired of middle class white feminism, white cops killing black kids, cultural and domestic violence against women of color being ignored, equality only being important when white people want to wear native headdresses at Coachella, and Target brand queers.
    We’re tired of Capitalists destroying the world around us, the worker’s alienation from their own humanity by the constant erosion of the environment and our individual and collective rights. We’re tired of resource wars and diamond genocides in Africa. We’re tired of sweatshops in Laos and Indonesia. We’re tired of the West creating terrorist groups and killing Arabic people en masse and calling it “collateral damage”.

    Like

  30. I was on Spruce Place at the end of the parade and I had the same experience with 2 white men and 1 white woman. This was my first and last Pride as well. I was so excited to spend time with my family, but I do NOT have time for dumbasses who don’t even know THEIR own history.

    Like

  31. Your experience reminds me of my doubting the sincerity and motives of the Women’s Marches when they began with the national anthem. Only white cisgendered women with money need apply, right?

    Like

  32. Can you please explain what you mean by “queer-adjacent”? I feel like it could develop into “queer looking” really fast and that is not cool- but I think I misunderstood. I tried to find a solid definition online but the sites that did have actual definitions were vague.

    Like

  33. May you never meet a Black person who votes Republican. What would you ‘leave’ then? There are shades of gray everywhere. Being born Black or gay does not mean one is automatically a progressive thinker. The Pride movement needs you. Don’t forsake it because you ran into an ignoramus or two. That’s not everyone.

    Like

  34. OHDIONNE,
    I am so proud of you.
    And thank you for informing us, telling us how it impacted you (and the 200, 300, 500+, unseen others) , and telling us what we can do. Specifically, to protect and GUARD, with our voices, our privilege and our bodies. We can do way better and I for one, will!
    Much love to you,
    Lorrie L. Thomas

    Oh, and in case you were in the crowd and said nothing, or you are one of those white men – FUCK YOU! Go back under the rock you came from.

    Like

  35. While I disagree with your approach of using a broad brush to paint all Pride-goers as un-inclusive, racist, etc. because of your experience, I understand why you would feel that way. I also want to thank you for writing this article because it’s made me reflect on my own thoughts, feelings, opinions, and drove me to spend more time on the BLM website and mpd150.com.
    Putting myself next to you on the parade route, I don’t know that I would have raised a fist. I don’t think I would have shouted, “NO COPS!” I’m all on board for “NO RACISM, NO KKK!” but…no cops…at pride? This is one of the largest community gatherings on the streets in the city of Minneapolis and we don’t want there to be any cops present? I’m sorry but I don’t think I would be comfortable being at an event like that without the cops. Our climate is such that we (GLBTQIA+ and POCs) are targets already and especially in a setting like that we could easily become easier human targets. I don’t know that I would ever support no cops at Pride.
    No cops in our communities? Now that’s another story. I agree with the ideas set out on mpd150.com and if those were the message being spread, yes I would agree with it, I would chant for it. I think the problem is a disconnect between the message people hear and the message trying to be sent.
    I may be completely wrong and completely missing the point so I encourage counter points just know this is what’s in my head and heart this morning. All love. 😘

    Like

  36. A friend just shared this post on Facebook and I’m so glad to have found your blog. Thanks for doing the emotional labor here and I’m really fucking sorry for the white queer folks who are still upholding this system of oppression. You’re amazing. I hope it’s OK if I follow your writing here.

    Like

  37. I wish I could have been there beside you. Corporate pride is an evil, evil thing, and I’m too small and too loud to let others be fucked over by the man at this point.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s