Take concerns about police seriously -- Andrew Kohrs
As a cisgender gay white male who just turned 30, my experiences with Pride events have been built on the ideal that Pride is about inclusion and acceptance.
LGBTQ history was not something I learned growing up. So it wasn’t until I read about the Stonewall riots, which occurred after police raided a gay bar in New York City, and activists such as Marsha P. Johnson that I began to consider the historical context. The harassment and violence endured by transgender and queer people, and especially LGBTQ people of color, ignited the fight against inequality in society -- an inequality perpetuated by police.
If members in our community are concerned about including police organizations in the march, we would be wise to listen. Feelings of pain caused by excluding law enforcement participating in the parade pales in comparison to the years of injustice police, as an institution, have inflicted on LGBTQ people of color.
We would also be wise to remember why Pride started in 1969, and it certainly was not to stand in “solidarity” with the police force.
Andrew Kohrs, Fitchburg