Tag Archives: Trigger warning

Longtime Vancouver LGBT Activists Speak Out Against BLM’s Demands Of No Police At PRIDE

A group of veteran Vancouver LGBT activists and community pioneers have launched a petition to counter Black Lives Matter Vancouver’s request to have the police removed from the Pride parade. These activists are concerned that the voices of older generations who helped found the communities and worked hard to develop relationships with the police are being ignored, in addition to others. 

The organizers of the petition are Velvet Steele, a Vancouver trans and sex worker rights advocate who was a member of the Trans/Police Liaison committee in the early 1990s; Gordon Hardy, a co-founder of the Vancouver Gay Liberation Front in the 1970s; Sandra Leo-Laframboise, a trans queer activist and Métis Two Spirit elder; and Kevin Dale McKeown, Vancouver’s first out gay journalist and an LGBT columnist for the Georgia Straight in 1970s

The petition states:

Vancouver’s LGBTQ community has a long history of positive engagement with the Vancouver Police Department, from the first Gay and Lesbian/Police Liaison Committee in 1977, through the 1980s with the work of community leaders like Jim Deva, Jim Trenholme, and Malcolm Crane, and continuing today as the LGBT/Police Liaison Committee. We’ve been doing this work for 40 years now.”

“While the objections that Black Lives Matter Vancouver makes against the presence of the Vancouver Police Department in the Vancouver Pride Parade reflect historic and ongoing injustices against the black communities in major American and Eastern Canadian cities, they do not reflect the relationships between Vancouver’s LGBTQ communities with local law enforcement.” 

The petition organizers also note that the VPD and RCMP have participated in the parade since 2002, which “signifies the progress we have made in our struggle for LGBTQ equality”.

The counter-petition is a reaction to BLM Vancouver’s petition launched on February 7 to request, for a second time, that the Vancouver Pride Society have the VPD withdraw all of its uniformed, armed officers from the parade. 

The counter-petition is available for all to sign on the change.org website. The petition will be delivered to the VPS.

The petition will close on February 20, the day before the Vancouver Pride is scheduled to meet with BLM Vancouver members on February 21. This year’s Vancouver Pride parade will be held on August 6.

 

San Diego Trans Cop Banned From Trans Awareness Day Event Because Her Uniform Could “Trigger”

trans-cop

The Transgender Day of Awareness, an annual event to honor those who lost their lives to anti-transgender violence, was held Nov. 17 in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego

Officer Christine Garcia, who transitioned last year, and helped plan the event and was part of the Police Department security detail that watched over a commemorative march down University Avenue.  After the march, when Garcia tried to enter the event as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, she was asked to leave because her uniform could upset “trigger” others in attendance. 

Since news of Garcia’s rejection has come to light, San Diego LGBT Community Center CEO Dr. Delores Jacobs has released an apology for what she called a “misunderstanding”:

“When [police officers] are attending events, they are not here to ‘police’ The Center — though they may be in uniform or on-duty…

We do not wish to ever make any community member feel unwelcome at The Center — these officers are valued members of our community.”

Nonetheless, Jacobs did note “that The Center has a responsibility to respect members who may not trust uniformed officers.”

“While we need to support those that are uncomfortable and honor their reactions to valid and understandable difficult previous experiences, we also need to explain that… our LGBTQ San Diego police liaisons are a valued part of our community,” Jacobs wrote.

Longtime LGBTQ activist, City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez, said the incident was an outrage. 

“Any officer, be they gay or straight, should be welcomed into our community center in uniform,” he said. “They protect our community and neighborhoods and make San Diego a better place.”

Murray-Ramirez said relations between the LGBTQ community and the Police Department have vastly improved over the last several decades, in part because of the work done by liaisons such as Garcia. 

“They’ve really reached out to the community,” he said of the department. “They’ve gotten to know the community. There are always rotten apples, but on a whole we have progressed greatly. And we’re very appreciative of them and that progress.”

Shame, shame, shame.