The New York City Pride parade were right to ban police officers from marching in the event, as it helps create a safe space against an oppressive institution.
The organizers will keep this ban until 2025 and will increase private security to keep police officers at least a block away.
Some LGBTQ+ police officers find it “disheartening.” While it is understandable that the ban feels unfair to them, the police force has blood on their hands — and years of it.
The police have oppressed people for centuries. Pride should not accommodate police officers if it wants to make the event a safe space.
Pride also commemorates the Stonewall Riots, in which police raided the Stonewall Inn and members of the LGBTQ+ community fought back.
Ten years before Stonewall, members of the LGBTQ+ community led a small uprising outside of Cooper Do-nuts in Los Angeles after continuous harassment by police officers.
In 1966, LGBTQ+ people protested at the Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco because police were targeting drag queens and transgender people for the “crime” of expressing another gender.
Stonewall, Cooper Do-nuts, Compton’s Cafeteria are just a handful of many incidents of police abuse against the LGBTQ+ community.
The police weren’t bystanders in a violently homophobic society — they were participants. They targeted gay bars, beat and outed LGBTQ+ people, refused to investigate LGBTQ+ hate crimes as hate crimes and so much more.
And police officers continue to mistreat members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially trans women of color.
Demanding space for an institution that oppressed and continues to oppress the LGBTQ+ community is outrageous. The feelings of LGBTQ+ police officers does not neutralize the violent history of the institution they’re a part of.
It’s incredible to see New York Pride distance police from its parade and other events should follow in its footsteps.