Tensions in the local LGBTQ community are escalating after San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s decision this week to put her support behind police union and SFPD officers protesting that they are taking part in the SF Pride march cannot wear uniforms.
Breed announced on Monday that she would join the police and fire services to boycott the parade in solidarity after LGBTQ members of the SFPD announced they would not be attending the parade as usual. This decision came two years after the SF Pride organization announced it would no longer welcome uniformed and armed police officers marching as a parade contingent. (This does not apply to officers on duty providing security services to the public on Pride Sunday.)
This year is the first in-person live Pride March since 2019 — and during this year’s parade Demonstrators blocked the parade route in protest against the police, as well as the imprisonment of trans people and several other causes. In 2020, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, Pride organizers across the country began limiting police attendance at the event in recognition of the LGBTQ community’s historically negative relationship with police officers and in solidarity with Black people to discuss the Lives Matter movement.
New York Pride has banned police from attending their parade, but SF Pride made a compromise decision to allow LGBTQ officers to march, but in department T-shirts or other non-uniform clothing.
Now, San Francisco’s transgender district has issued a statement that it will boycott all city-sponsored Pride events this year. These events include the annual raising of the Pride flag at City Hall and all other city-sponsored events occurring around Pride Month.
“The mayor’s decision – her seat of power and her role and leadership in one of the most progressive cities in the world – is creating a domino effect,” said Aria Sa’id, district president the Facebook statement. “Her seat can actually decide when to support trans and queer people based on unspoken terms — though in fact our reality as trans people is that we fight for a world where we are the allies of cisgender people WITHOUT have conditions.”
Sa’id goes on to write that Breed’s decision implies a “transactional alliance” with the LGBTQ community, “rather than promoting an unconditional alliance.”
“The transgender district stands in solidarity with SF Pride,” says Sa’id. “This is not about banning LGBTQ people in the police force from participating in the parade, but about allowing police uniforms to be part of the parade – a parade whose origins are closely linked to the actions of the police.”
In fact, the first Pride, or what was originally called Gay Freedom Day, was celebrated on the one-year anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots — riots that broke out in response to a police raid, one of many spanning decades, in a queer space in New Zealand York-City. Three years earlier in San Francisco, in what is now the transgender district on the corner of Turk and Taylor, the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot took place – a riot in which transgender and queer people also fought back against police abuse in response to abuse.
“San Francisco Pride’s decision to honor the genesis and true purpose of our celebration and to draw boundaries with law enforcement agencies that continue to criminalize and harm our most affected community members is a step toward uniting with the founding values of trans and queer pride ‘ Said writes.
The transgender district says it will reverse its decision if Breed reverses theirs and apologizes to the wider community and SF Pride.
SF Pride issued a statement Monday indicating they hoped a compromise could be reached with the SFPD and Breed.
Photo: Kae Ng
SF Transgender District to Boycott City-Sponsored Pride Events In Response to Mayor’s Support of Police Source link SF Transgender District to Boycott City-Sponsored Pride Events In Response to Mayor’s Support of Police