This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Past Time for Reconciliation on all Fronts

"We brought the Pride parade to a full stop with a list of demands (see below) reflecting the needs of some of Toronto’s most marginalized LGBTQ2SIAA community members. These demands challenged the erasure of Black infrastructure and called for the removal of police floats from the Pride parade and community fair, among other things."
"Canada, too, has a long history of homophobia and transphobia. From the 1950s to the 90s, LGBTQ2SIAA people in Canada were surveilled, violated and brutalized by police forces, resulting in raids and incarceration."
"We achieved a commitment to our demands despite intense push-back from a primarily gay white male community. The same community did not want Black Lives Matter involved in Pride at all, even going so far as to create a group on Facebook called No BLM in Pride. Gender and sexual diversity, it seems, does not preclude racism or white privilege."
"The majority of the leadership within Black Lives Matter – Toronto and Black Lives Matter internationally identify as queer or trans. Pride has always been for the most marginalized, and has always been for us."
"Since the action, I have received hate mail and death threats, primarily from gay-identifying men. I have been screamed at on the street. I have been called a “nigger” more times than I care to count. People have told me I’m no longer part of the queer community because my Blackness has no place there."
Janaya Khan, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, 6 July 2016

From the horrors of persecution, societal rejection and violence against gays just about everywhere in the world, to the present time where society has finally learned to accept human beings in all their diverse, natural dimensions and projections, fully invested in living their lives as they were meant to be in reflection of their biology and their values, we have the amazing spectacle of the once-persecuted, now mainstream, continuing to hound and demean other equally-deserving members of communities who have long lived on the edge of 'normative' society.

Activists within the black community who identify as varied-gendered are outraged that within the greater community of diverse iterations of sexuality, they have been shunted aside as irrelevant and unwanted, to deal with the consequences of historical predation of their dignity as human beings. When most gays were hounded and desperate to escape the threats aimed against them, they were still privileged as white males in comparison to people of colour, coping with skin-discrimination alongside that of gender-orientation rejection.

Now that the varied different-gendered community has found its place with pride in general society in many countries of the world, including Canada, where they were once rejected and harried and violated, it is only natural for outsiders to conclude in their wholesale ignorance that all is well within the community itself. Yet it is human nature to be obtuse, and to not want to know more than what appears on the surface. And it is also human nature to define one's own interests as being superior and more worthy than those of others.

The black LGBTQ2SIAA community clearly finds itself outside the heartfelt welcome of the Caucasian LGBTQ community and feels aggrieved and ill done by. And during Sunday's annual Pride Parade that took place in Toronto, Black Lives Matter protested their exclusion within a supposedly inclusive community. It is a moral comeuppance. A reminder that if a community truly does represent the best interests of all its members its actions and its general atmosphere should reflect that. Toronto Pride fell quite a bit short of doing that.

The irony for some lies in the fact that the greater Pride community  had previously allowed itself to be highjacked by an agenda that attempted to politicize Gay Pride in a manner that coloured it not rainbow but black and bleakly self-harming when it adopted the searingly rancid message of the supposedly underdog Palestinians in messaging that Israel is an Apartheid State, when the reality is that Israel is anything but that, and that the LGBTQ community in Israel has legal status and security, the only place in the Middle East where this is true.

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid delivered a searing message of pure hatred on a pretense of justification, and Gay Pride Parade was clearly complicit until public pressure and bad press resulting from it convinced it to re-neutralize itself publicly on the issue. This certainly did not redeem it, but it removed an irritant. Now, it transpires that bad blood of discrimination exists in the LGBTQ community along racial lines just as it does outside that community, when compassion bred of knowing what it is like to be a victim should logically have cleansed the community of rejection.

Not everyone will be in support of Black Lives Matters' demand that there be no police presence at future Gay Parades. Historically, police action reflected that of societal demands at a time when that social contract scorned and denied gays their equal place in society. Just as much has occurred since then to legitimize the presence of the LGBTQ community within society at every level, gaining them not only acceptance but protection under the law once denied them, so too have police services themselves been irretrievably altered in their relations with the LGBTQ community.

"I can say with absolute pride that my peers, and my employers/senior management, ahave never made an inappropriate comment to me. I have never been made to feel discriminated against. I speak as an individual. One who saw his first Pride, only to be excluded from the next", explained Constable Chuck Krangle in his open letter to Pride organizers, a man who had 'come out' at work, with the Toronto Police Services, of which he is a proud member.

Black Lives Matter's demands of Pride

  • Continued space, including stage and tents, funding and logistical support for Black Queer Youth. 
  • Self-determination for all community spaces at Pride, allowing community groups full control over hiring, content and structure of their stages.
  • Full and adequate funding for community stages, including logistical, technical and personnel support.
  • Doubling of funding for Blockorama to $13,000.
  • Reinstatement of the South Asian stage.
  • Prioritizing of the hiring of Black transwomen, Indigenous people and others from vulnerable communities at Pride Toronto.
  • More Black deaf and hearing sign language interpreters for the festival.
  • Removal of police floats in the Pride marches and parades.
  • A town hall organized in conjunction with groups from marginalized communities, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter – Toronto, Blackness Yes and Black Queer Youth, in six months, where Pride Toronto will present an update and action plan on BLM-TO’s demands

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet