I cannot take the white humans at Toronto Pride who are upset that their party was interrupted by BLM protesters. They were invited. They were invited specifically because they ARE protesters and activists. They were invited because of their successful protests earlier this year outside Toronto Police Headquarters. They were invited as guests of honour, of importance.
Various news sites are reporting solely that the BLM demands were to ban the police in future Pride Marches. Almost all do not mention that this was the third March in which they protested that weekend. Most of those sites don’t mention that the protest was for a list of demands that included more funding and staging for events featuring POCs and indigenous people, a return of the South Asian stage, and for the event to hire more POCs and indigenous people. That the organizer himself said that BLM was invited because Toronto Pride has had significant criticism that it has become an event for (white) tourists and not for the very people it claims to represent. That even then, the event has not worked to include POCs and indigenous people.
Many have complained that Toronto Pride is a party with no room for the political. Those are the people who do not know that the event was started as a protest against the police who had raided local bath houses, arresting three hundred people unnecessarily. Just recently the Chief of the Toronto Police apologized for those raids to acknowledge the grievous harm done to the gay community by the force.
Just last month, 43 queer and trans people of colour, members of different ethnic minority groups were murdered in Orlando, Florida at a gay club. This year’s Toronto Pride was to honour them and acknowledge how much more work has to be done for queer and trans people of colour to feel safe and accepted. And yet there were those who find it acceptable to complain that THEIR party was interrupted by a political protest, completely oblivious.
Pay attention. PAY ATTENTION. Any white woman expressing these selfish myopic views has FAILED as an intersectional feminist. Any white man who has decided that his queer and/or trans identity trumps that of POCs and indigenous people has not owned his white privilege. Anyone who is cis het and is complaining about how they were inconvenienced: stop talking. PAY ATTENTION.
You are arguing that your ‘right’ to party at an event allegedly for all is more important than inclusion and consideration for a group that does not feel welcome, safe or included. Instead of welcoming them, instead of finding out how to make them feel welcome, you have told them that your attendance is more important than theirs.