Watercooler: Pride Revisited (UPDATED)
In a previous watercooler I wrote about LGBTQ pride events and how they’ve become increasingly driven by the “pink dollar” of corporate sponsorship, and divorced from the real origin of the event — the anger of queer people at a long history of oppression based on orientation, gender identity, and race.
Sadly, the anniversary of Stonewall comes close on the heels of a tragic reminder of the struggle still ahead: the shooting of a young lesbian couple in Portland, Texas. Though there are apparently no suspects and the motive is therefore still unknown, police are quick to dismiss the potential hate crime angle:
“A motive in this case has not been established,” Portland, Texas, Police Chief Randy Wright said in a statement late Tuesday. “However, there is no current evidence to indicate the attacks were motivated by that relationship.”
Regardless of the particulars of the case as they develop, is this the world we want to live in — where some of our youngest and most vulnerable minorities are preyed on while mainstream Pride celebrates the small donations of a few big corporations? Though not as serious as the Texas case, there is violence everywhere. Shortly after the Seattle Police Department created their own It Gets Better video, an officer pepper-sprayed a peaceful LGBTQ street party then charged the victim with assault.
We have to keep fighting. When we’re bashed, we must bash back.
On Thursday, the Occupy Austin OccuQueers will Occupy the Austin Stonewall Rally. Then on Friday, Austin will host a candlelit vigil for the victims of the Portland shooting in solidarity with the vigil occurring in Portland, Texas.
See also: Why Occupy Pride
Update: Mary Christine Chapa, the surviving half of the couple, is making an extraordinary recovery but lacks health insurance. GetEqual TX reports that solidarity vigils are planned for 18 cities in North America.
This is tonight’s open thread. What’s on your mind?