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Thread: It's Pride Month: Who Wants To Harm You?

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  1. #20
    writing in the shadows aspirit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    An older friend of mine knew a guy who'd been in the UpStairs Lounge massacre. I didn't know that had happened until she posted a quick memorial. The scanned newspaper I found in a search included black-and-white photographs.

    The burned corpse of a man stuck in a window he'd tried to escape through is stuck near the surface of my memory. I later read that his boyfriend had tried running back into the fire for him.

    The connection between that attack and the riots are incredibly important. The way the police previously treated the club goers and the response to the emergency calls for help remain horribly relevant today.

    Speaking of, I'm shaking from today's news. A Baptist pastor who's also a police detective in Tennessee told his congregation how municipal and federal governments in the U.S. should execute LGBTQ people and our allies.


    A few years ago in Colorado, someone posted signs around my city that were photocopies of regular printing paper. The text was tiny and filled up each page. There were four pages. Half of the text was a rant about the supposed sins and dangers of "the homosexuals", along with a threat to shoot people at the upcoming Pride festival. The other half raved against the police.

    I saw these signs up on the bus shelters while I was running errands with my preschooler--who I'd been considering taking to the the family-oriented Pride festival organized by our neighbors. I was terrified. I felt sick waiting for the bus. Then the anger kicked in. I tore the papers off the shelter, took photos, then carried them on the bus. We went farther on the bus than planned so we could go into the police headquarters to turn those pages in.

    The women behind the safety glass glanced at the papers, told me her department was already aware, and attempted to reassure me when I mentioned I was concerned. "Don't worry. Our officers will protect themselves."

    The officers. She saw me and my child and assumed that all we cared about was aggression against the police. Up until that moment, I'd believed my city's police department cared about my family's safety in public.

    We ended up skipping our own city's Pride event and went to Denver's parade. Denver Police Department had announced that they were watching for threats and would be prepared to deal with the public safety of Pride participants.

    We might've been safe downtown in our city that year, but I couldn't trust we would be. My neighbors, including a church leader and an attorney, had been facing threats of violence since they'd started the annual festival. When police don't show public support, it's too easy to wonder how the department is quietly resistant.

    Where I live now, we don't have Pride events. I've been afraid to suggest one. I'm wary of the police, who have been kind in casual encounters but might not know my family is queer. We haven't been able to confirm which local laws specifically target me. We've faced discrimination for gender and sexual orientation at the hospital, so where could I go in an emergency? What would emeegency responders do? The odds of additional harm feels high.
    Last edited by aspirit; 06-13-2019 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Rewritten. I can't see what autocorrect and I are typing when I'm upset. Descriptions were jumbled.

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