Waymon Hudson

Pride Events Marred by Violence

Filed By Waymon Hudson | July 01, 2009 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Weekly Reader
Tags: Fort Worth, hate crimes against LGBT people, Kansas, Minneapolis, New York, Pride Events, pride parade, San Francisco, violence

This last month, Pride Events were celebrated across the country. pride4.jpgOver time, these events have morphed from protests and acts of visibility to celebrations of different parts of our community and culture.

The commercialization of Pride has eased us into a sense of security and safety that unfortunately isn't always the case. Every year our celebrations are marred with acts of violence, even in the most "friendly" of cities.

Unfortunately, this year was no exception. In fact, it seems the violence has been worse.

Here are just a few events that occurred during the weekend's Pride celebrations:

Kansas Woman Attacked at Omaha Pride

confrontation-thumb-250x166.jpgKendra Konrady was placed in a headlock by 66-year-old Omaha resident William Crill, who was boycotting Omaha Pride with a sign that said:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Konrady tossed some stickers from the parade route towards the protester's rainbow colored wagon, mistaking him for a Pride participant. She was then assaulted by the man, who was later arrested.

Fort Worth Bar Raid

Fort Worth police raided a new gay bar in a move reminiscent of the Stonewall Raid
that sparked the modern gay rights movement in 1969, leaving one patron in intensive care with a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage.

The raid has sparked protests from the community and calls for inquiry from local leaders.


Bashing at New York Pride

The Village Voice reported that a gay man visiting from Boston was robbed and pistol-whipped during Gay Pride weekend by a group of people calling him a "faggot."

Man Harassed after Leaving Minneapolis Pride

A man and his friend leaving the Minneapolis Pride parade were harassed and had rocks thrown at them by a group of young people. The video shows a large group screaming "I hate gay people" and "Gay is not the way" at the man who tries to keep walking while his friend tapes it.


San Francisco Landmark Torched

San Francisco's large Pink Triangle, honoring the LGBT people killed in the holocaust on the city's Twin Peaks, was burned in what police are calling a case of arson. The fire was set hours before the city's annual Pride Parade was set to begin.

Going to Pride is Still a Political Statement

I think we have become so used to seeing the crazy Westboro-type protesters at our Pride Events that we forget the level of animosity still out there towards LGBT people. I know I have tons of pictures from Pride with me posing in front of nutty protester signs or have seen friends kiss in front of fundies yelping about "Sodom and Gomorra."

This type of in-your-face celebration has become part of our culture. I think it shows how we have moved past some of the fear and internal shame that defined our community in the past. It is an important statement.

We can never forget, however, that sometimes increased visibility and rights can cause a backlash or set off hate-filled people on the edge of sanity. As we gain ground, the crazed right will become more desperate and more violent. Going to Pride, being out everyday, and living openly all still carries risk, from the most urban centers and gayborhoods to the most rural areas.

We've come a long way, but still have so much further to go...

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Rick Sours | July 1, 2009 12:45 PM

To quote what I have previously said:

"For those members of the LGBT community who live in large urban area where they are generally free from
hate and discrimination; please do not feel it does not still occur!!

Saturday June 27th was Pride Day in St Petersburg, Florida. That night a Tampa television station ran a public
service program by an anti-Gay conservative group. This program said things like your rights are being violated by
the Gay agenda. This program stated that people have the right to express their anti-Gay views and not be fearful
of doing so. It also said people should stand up to the Gay agenda.

On Monday June 29th, the St. Petersburg Times had an editorial article regarding this public service program.
This article said there had been numerous e-mails and phone calls to the television stations questioning the
decision to air this program."

I would like to add that in NYC the unit for people of color were ordered out of the parade by police. Against the wishes of the Parade organizers. Then when they were told they could rejoin as ordered by headquarters but that one leader from the Two Spirit community leading that unit could not be among them.
The leader in question was Harlan Pruden and he is council member for the Two Spirit Society. He was dragged physically from the route by police who said that the unit was moving too slow.
I met Harlan when he came to speak in this area last year. The idea that this gentleman was dragged from a pride parade and that his people of color group was the unit singled out by police is appalling.
I wondered if the NYPD understands how bigoted this looks and then I wondered if they care at all.

Thanks for compilation, WH. ...and totally agree:
"Going to Pride, being out everyday, and living openly all still carries risk, from the most urban centers and gayborhoods to the most rural areas.

We've come a long way, but still have so much further to go..."

....then I read Rod's note! WTF (to paraphrase KO). This needs exemplifying too.

....as do all the 40th ANNIVE Stonewall attacks such as the Bar Radi in Fort Worth and Raid on fundraiser in Encinitas, CA.

....makes one want to start packin'.

I have my License To Carry and strongly recommend it to others. When you are armed you are way less likely to be victimized.

The Minneapolis gay bashing was by a group of Somalian immigrants. Let's not be vague.

I agree. The Somalian immigrant community in Minneapolis is rife with Islamic fundamentalists who have tried to shove their beliefs down the throats of non-Muslims, like that case a few years ago when Somalian cab drivers were demanding the right to refuse rides to airline passengers carrying alcohol.

Rick Sours | July 1, 2009 6:59 PM

When my Partner and I lived in Tucson, Arizona,
anti-Gay comments were made to us by immigrants
from India.

There was also a series of attacks in Portland, OR, around pride, as reported here: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2009/06/392117.shtml

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 1, 2009 11:39 PM

OK, (fully prepared to get my head bitten off) I and the partner lived in Chicago in a Hispanic neighborhood. We, together, us, started block clubs for protection of the hood from gang members dealing drugs. We, together, us, both served on the advisory council of the park board. We sponsored little league teams and Special Olympics events. We made gifts to charities and Aids programs. We did this for 22 years.

We were a known Gay couple who flew the American flag in defiance of anyone who sought to undermine the best of what our country can be and equality under the law for all Americans is part of that dream. Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear. We have the right to pursue happiness, it is not a guarantee.

Being "Out and Proud" is more than just whether we have parades, flags and pink triangles all over the place. It is not about whether there is vandalism or attacks based upon theft where "gaybashing" is a justification. I am sorry, but there are similar acts at Hispanic Pride, St. Patrick's Day, you name the holiday and someone is sure to get attacked.

Being "Out and Proud" is about everyday living and defense of the underdog whomever they are. I would include in that description Somalis and Indians living in America. I would also include Gay persons, Lesbians, Transgendered, the handicapped, elderly and underfed and undereducated of all types.

mixedqueer mixedqueer | July 2, 2009 1:34 AM

i'm sure this is only a handful of the reported incidents, which of course leaves all the unreported incidents. and don't forget how we've got to think twice before calling on the cops for 'help.'

ps- tobi- thanks for the link.

Also this week, a Transgender Woman was Brutally Beaten in Queens Bias Attack.

On June 19, 2009, at 2:30 am, during the height of LGBT Pride month, Leslie Mora was walking home from a nightclub on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens when she was accosted by two men who brutally beat her with a belt, stopping only when a passing motorist threatened to call the police. Throughout the attack, Mora’s assailants called her a “faggot” in Spanish. The attack left Mora with multiple injuries, including bruises all over her body, and stitches in her scalp. Police called to the scene found Mora nearly naked and bleeding on the sidewalk. They also recovered a belt buckle from the assailants that was covered in blood.