Posted 2 years ago on June 4, 2012, 10:31 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
#OccuPride #OccuQueers #Tranarchism #PinkBloc
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Pride 2012: The Struggle for Sexual and Gender Justice Continues
This summer, communities across the world will celebrate Pride Festivals commemorating the birth and victories of the Gay and Trans Liberation Movements. Despite the profound social change these movements have accomplished since the first high-heels were thrown over the barricades at Compton's Cafeteria and the Stonewall Inn, it is clear that the struggle for queer, trans, and gender-variant liberation is far from finished.
From California to North Carolina, and around the world, our relationships remain under assault by the State. The progress made so-far by the established LGBT Rights movement has been uneven, excluding trans women, homeless youth and elders, people of color, low-income and poor communities, immigrants, gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities, neurovariant people and sex workers — the very communities whose militant resistance to police brutality and vice patrol raids first gave life to the Gay and Trans Liberation movement. Now, the life-or-death (primarily economic) needs of marginalized people are ignored by the mainstream LGBT Rights movement in favor of symbolic victories for relatively-privileged members of our communities.
For too long, we have been force-fed an ¨LGBT Rights¨ program centered largely around the priorities of wealthy gay cisgender white men (whom writer Allison Kilkenny aptly referred to as the 1% of the LGBTQ community). Of course every relationship should be cherished and honored. But why are we fighting for marriage equality while trans, queer, and gender non-conforming people are dying, losing their jobs, and being locked up at dramatically higher rates than straight, cisgender populations? Why are we fighting for a few more documented monogamous couples to be let into an exclusionary institution instead of demanding health care, immigration status, respect, and autonomy for everyone? Of course no one should be discriminated against on their job (or anywhere). But why are we celebrating the repeal of the U.S. military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (which does not even benefit trans servicemembers in any way) while soldiers are still being sent to die in unjust wars and veterans are doomed to poverty because every social program has been cut in the name of austerity?
We've been pushed away from the collective struggle for economic equality and gender/sexual self-determination for our communities, and toward fighting for "inclusion" and tolerance. Some believe we can fight "homophobia" without also challenging the connected problems of class, sexism, racism, transphobia, etc -- and so we leave out all LGBTQ people who aren't wealthy, male, white, cisgender, etc.
Transgender people face universal job discrimination and half have considered suicide. In Washington, D.C. alone, at least half a dozen trans women of color have died violently in the past year, and there are many more in other cities. We will not fight for inclusion in institutions that are built on profit, hierarchy, competition, violence, incarceration, and coercion — especially when these very institutions are the ones carrying out our oppression by killing us, putting us in jails, and leaving us hungry in the streets. We do not need to assimilate into an unjust system. We need mutual aid. We need a revolt. We need — we demand — homes, food, communities, health care, and legal status for all. We demand the end of poverty, criminalization, police brutality, profiling in the criminal justice system, ¨bullying¨ (better known to us as assault and harassment), psychiatric control of our identities, and discrimination. We demand a radically re-imagined society, and we are here to build it.
Why #Occupy Pride?
Adding insult to injury, the Gay Elite who hijacked the movement also sold one of our most important annual festivals to the highest bidder. What once was a celebration of open defiance against violently State-enforced sexual norms and gender hierarchies became a marketing and advertising venue for ¨gay-friendly¨ banks and corporations, complete with entrance fees, merchandizing, and $15,000-a-plate fundraising galas. Decision-making became further centralized in the hands of an emerging white, wealthy LGBT upper-class.
This year in NYC, Pride is sponsored by notorious union-busters, foreclosure profiteers, and other corporations desperate to pinkwash their image like Wells Fargo, Citigroup, AT&T, Whole Foods, and Target. From ejecting veterans of Stonewall because they were trans women of color, to banning free speech for queers who take a stance against social injustices, Pride has been effectively depoliticized and removed from its true history.
This year, we will reclaim Pride. We will truly honor decades of militant resistance by carrying those struggles into the present and future. We call on a broadly-inclusive coalition of people to #OccuPride.
We remember the work of groups like the Street Transvestite/Transgender Action Revolutionaries, a radical network of trans women of color and sex workers in New York who provided housing and mutual aid and allied themselves with the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. We pay homage to the sex worker activists who jump-started a movement against State-enforced morality and for human rights by occupying churches across the world (with the help of many clergy — Trinity on Wall Street has a lot to learn from them). We carry on the traditions of the trans and gender non-conforming civil rights activists who held sit-ins at lunch counters to take direct action against transphobic and racist discrimination.
We stand in solidarity with the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), who continue to use creative direct action to end the HIV/AIDS crisis. We support the queer and trans youth who occupy Christopher Street Pier in defiance of gentrification. We send our love to, and demand the immediate release of, CeCe McDonald, a young trans woman of color in Minneapolis who is currently incarcerated for defending herself against a violent racist, transphobic attack.
This summer, we invite you to join us. Form a militant trans-feminist bloc, show your unashamed support for sex workers, or march with an anti-capitalist queer contingent for your local Pride march. Set up an info-table or booth at the Pride Festival (but don't pay for it). Distribute literature that reminds people of the radical history of Pride. Hold a benefit for CeCe McDonald. Mic-check against the corporate cooptation of our movement. Crash a Gay 1% fundraising gala. Take over a building and give it to homeless queer and trans youth. Organize your own DIY alternative Pride full of radical workshops and free dance parties. Get creative. Stay militant. Never give up.
We are the 99%. We are here to recruit you.
With queer love,
Trans World Order, the trans ladies (and our allies) who brought you OccupyWallSt.org
More Info: Off your computers and into the streets!
This is a preliminary list and a living document. More events are being planned in many other cities. Check back often for updates! Let us know what your plans are for #OccuPride and we will add it to the list. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twitter: #OccuPride #OccuQueers #Tranarchism #PinkBloc
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Events & (some) Endorsers
- June 8 — Tel Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine: Pride Without Racism/There is no pride in occupation/Pride demands Social Justice!
- June 9 — Boston, MA: Anarcho-Queer Bloc @ Pride Parade
- June 9 — Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Dyke March (more info)
- June 9 — Los Angeles, CA: Occupy LA Queer Affinity Group tabling at LA Dyke Day
- June 9 — Bologna, Italy: FABULOUS against AUSTERITY #OccuPride Bloc @ BolognaPride - we are a lgbtqi_feminist anticapitalist network and we have decided to "cross" the national official pride march in the name of the fight against the politics of the austerity and the blackmail of the debt and against the diversity management/pinkwashing strategy ♥
- June 11 - June 30 — Providence, RI: Radical queer benefits, workshops, organizing, gardening, parties, potlucks, film-screenings, letter-writing, and more all month! Full schedule: http://queerlilrhody.tumblr.com/
- June 16 — Los Angeles, CA: Occupy LA Queer Affinity Group tabling at Trans Pride LA
- June 16 — Kingston, Ontario: OccuPride: Occupy Kingston in the 2012 Kingston Pride Parade!
- June 16 — Portland, OR: Occupy Portland Sisters In Strength at Dyke March
- June 17 — Portland, OR: Occupy the Pride! more info: occupridepdx.wordpress.com
- June 17 — New York, NY: March with the LGBT Community to End Stop & Frisk
- June 18 — New York, NY: 2nd NYC Feminist General Assembly
- June 22 — New York, NY: 8th annual NYC Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice
- June 22 — San Francisco, CA: 9th annual SF Trans March
- June 23 — New York, NY: NYC Dyke March - support trans dyke inclusion!
- June 23 — Chicago, IL: Chicago Dyke March
- June 23-24 — Minneapolis, MN: TransDykeQueer March
- June 24 — New York, NY: OccuPride NYC
- June 24 — San Francisco, CA: SF Pride with radical LGBTQ coalition / Occupy Pride
- June 24 — Chicago, IL: Occupy at Chi Pride Parade: No to Racism, No to Business Greed
- June 28 — Madrid, Spain: Anti-capitalist 15M Queer March :: Toma el Orgullo
- June 30 — Los Angeles, CA: Occupy LA Trans-themed General Assembly
- June 30 — Lancaster, CA: Occupy Antelope Valley Pride (2551 West Avenue H, meet at 12PM)
- June 30 — Madrid, Spain: Queer Bloc at the Official Pride March :: Toma el Orgullo
Regional (Official) Pride Dates
- June 1-10: Boston Pride Week
- June 9: Brooklyn Pride Parade
- June 9-10: Washington, DC Pride March & Festival (we hear some radicals are already planning mischief for this one)
- June 10: Philadelphia Pride Parade & Festival
- June 16: New York City Pride Rally
- June 16-17: Baltimore Pride Parade, Block Party, and Festival
- June 23: NYC Pride VIP Rooftop Party
- June 24: NYC Pridefest, March, and Dance on the Pier