In 2020, Heritage of Pride announced that it would no longer allow uniformed police officers to participate in the annual Pride parade until at least 2025. This decision came after discussions by community activists and groups who believed that the presence of uniformed police officers could create an environment that is unwelcoming and unsafe for some “marginalized communities”.
Now in what is turning out to be one of the most dangerous years for LGBT Americans with threats and violence on the rise Heritage of Pride – NYC Pride is still not allowing uniformed policemen to participate in PRIDE.
Via The NYC Pride website: “NYC Pride acknowledges and accounts for public safety measures that have inflicted harm to transgender, womxn, black, indigenous and peoples of color that have engaged in NYC Pride events. Beginning in 2021, NYC Pride publicly banned corrections and law enforcement exhibitors from marching in their uniforms and participating in recruitment activities at NYC Pride events until at least 2025. This action was a step in the path of transformative justice affirming our commitment to eliminating violence, harm and abuse at NYC Pride events. Continuing on this path requires transparency for how community members can be safe as we care for ourselves, our communities and our environment. NYC Pride is committed to safe events that encompass the intersectionalities of safety, wellness, accessibility and sustainability.”
NYC Pride media director Dan Dimant says “We have private security that we’ve hired. They play a role,” Dimant says. “We also are working with numerous government agencies, and those agencies exist at every level of government across city, state, and federal. It’s NYPD in some ways, but it’s also DOT, sanitation, fire, and EMS.”
An estimated crowd of over 2 mullion visitors are expected to attend this year’s NYC events.
Organizers say that it’s natural for participants to have a heightened sense of awareness amid the current political climate – but they say going back into hiding is exactly what hateful threats are aiming to do. Still, they say people should do what makes them feel the safest.
Please if you attend NYC PRIDE this year follow these simple rules to help remain safe.
- If at all possible, don’t attend Pride events alone. Designate a Pride buddy and safety plan with them.
- Let someone who won’t be with you know your plans for the day/night. Let that person know who you’ll be with and if plans change. Brainstorm in advance ways people can contact and support you.
- Charge your electronics and bring chargers and/or extra battery packs.
- Write down phone numbers of friends or family on a piece of paper in case your cell phone dies.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Locate public spaces and 24-hour businesses to seek help if you feel unsafe.
- Always trust your instincts. If you feel threatened or unsafe, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.