It is with deep regret that BreakOUT! has decided at the last minute to pull our participation from the New Orleans Pride Parade today due to increased law enforcement that has our community and youth- many of whom are undocumented, youth with negative experiences with police & sheriffs including sexual violence, youth who feel unsafe and triggered when our bodies and belongings are searched, and youth who have already been the targets of private patrols and security in many of the gay bars in the French Quarter (including some that are notorious for not allowing transwomen inside)- feeling unsafe. We were originally marching today under the banner “How can we walk down the aisle when we can’t walk down the street,” which we feel is important now more than ever.
Tonight, New Orleans’ streets will fill with NOPD officers, the FBI, Louisiana State Troopers, Orleans Parish Sheriffs, and private patrols- all under the banner of “community safety.”
But what does it mean for the only LGBTQ youth organization made up of predominately youth of color with experiences of criminalization in New Orleans- the very youth who were targets of police in New York and Los Angeles and all over the country in 1969 when the Stonewall riots against police were kicked off- to feel unsafe at Pride 47 years later?? As a movement, we must come together to lift up the leadership of and center those who kicked off Pride- Latinx & Black gender non-conforming youth and transwomen.
As a community be willing and determined to chart a course forward that doesn’t rely on state systems, but rather community, to keep us safe.
While we were honored to be named one of the grand marshals in pride, our priority is to our vision of liberation where we can walk down the street without fear . #policeoutofpride