The Advocate features Survived & Punished NYC member, Ash Stephens, who makes the connections between’s Pride’s radical legacy and the call to defund the police. Excerpt below:
We all must return Pride to its radical roots by answering the call to organize in our local communities to defund the police because this call to has always been at the center of queer liberation movements.
In 1966, trans and gender nonconforming people, sex workers, street youth, and drag queens in San Francisco fought back against police violence through radical activism in what came to be known as the Compton Cafeteria Uprising.
In 1969, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were on the front-lines of the famed Stonewall rebellion that took place for several days as a response to violence and escalation on behalf of the New York Police Department at the Stonewall Inn. In 1970, they created STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), a radical organization focused on supporting sex workers and homeless queer youth, after a days long sit-in protest with other members of the queer liberation movement that also birthed the Gay Liberation Front.
Several queer liberation organizations, activists, writers, and organizers have come up through this history, including a group of Black radical socialist lesbian feminists organized under the Combahee River Collective. In their 1974 Combahee River Collective Statement, they introduced the term interlocking oppressions (giving way to the framework of intersectionality coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw) and influenced the trajectory of Black queer radical organizing for years to come.
Defunding the police is an LGBTQ issue. Countless Black trans women and Black trans people experience interpersonal and community violence on a daily basis — like Iyanna Dior who was recently beaten up on video by a group of people in Minneapolis and Nina Pop who we lost to deadly violence in Missouri in May — and are made no “safer” by the presence of police. Police are the violence. In the Trans Agenda for Liberation’s first pillar — Black Trans Women Living and Leading Fiercely — a coalition of majority Black, indigenous, and migrant trans, non-binary, and gender- nonconforming leaders working with Transgender Law Center call for abolishing the prison industrial complex. The prison industrial complex is a web of imprisonment, policing, and surveillance that includes the call to defund the police.
Art above by Monica Trinidad. Full article here.