This gay politician wants you to remember ‘the first Pride was a riot’ against police brutality as he calls for justice for Black queers

Vic Parsons June 2, 2020
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Black Lives Matter

Protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest near Barclays Center on May 29, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York City (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty)

Gay New York state senator Brad Hoylman is calling for Pride events to return to their “radical roots” and refocus their efforts to support Black people protesting against racism and police brutality in the US.

Protests against racism and police brutality continue in the US, following the deaths of George Floyd and Black trans man Tony McDade.

Democrat Hoylman, 54, made the comments in an open letter to the organisers of New York City Pride.

“The first Pride was a riot and an outpouring of anger and frustration, led by transgender women of colour who threw bricks at police and sparked the beginning of the queer liberation movement,” he said.

“As protests against police brutality continue in New York City and nationwide, we are reminded that millions of our Black and brown siblings… are still denied justice,” Brad Hoylman added.

His comments came at the start of Pride month, which commemorate the 1969 Stonewall uprising and kicks off Pride season..

The Stonewall Inn was the site of protests against police violence in 1969, when a police raid on the bar turned sour after officers accosted bar-goers.

Although accounts of events that night differ, many agree that it was when the police tried to shove butch Black lesbian Stormé Delarverie into a police car that the uprising was triggered.

The ensuing protests are commonly credited as the birth of the modern-day gay-rights movement

His remarks are the latest LGBT+ voice standing in solidarity with the Black community.

More than 100 leaders of LGBT+ organisations in the US have united in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, noting their shared experiences of harassment and police brutality.

They represent over 75 groups, including GLAADThe Trevor Project and Human Rights Watch, which have signed a joint statement denouncing racial violence in America.

In an open letter calling for intersectional support, they name George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Christian Cooper alongside the many members of the Black transgender community who have been lost to the shocking “epidemic of violence”.

“This police violence movement, this anti-racism movement, is our movement,” said Mara Keisling, founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“We can’t have a moral or effective trans or LGBT+ movement if it’s not an anti-racist movement,” she said.


More: black lives matter, brad hoylman, national center for transgender equality, Pride, Stonewall, stonewall uprising

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