NYC Pride Is Banning Police From Participating In Its Events

by Christina Marfice

NYC Pride said police will be banned from its events through at least 2025, and asked officers to work to recognize the violence they’ve brought against the city’s marginalized people

This summer, as the U.S. continues to reopen, Pride events will hopefully return. At NYC Pride, though, a major change will be happening this year: Police are banned from participating in any of the organization’s events until at least 2025. The ban comes after a year of grappling with police violence across the country.

In a statement, NYC Pride organizers focused on their intent to center some of the movement’s most marginalized voices, including Black and trans members who have suffered considerable harm at the hands of police.

“NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate,” they said. “NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community. The steps being taken by the organization challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change.”

Heritage of Pride, the organization that oversees NYC Pride events, said that it will also be reviewing the NYPD’s presence as security and first responders at its events, and looking for alternatives. The organization says it will be providing a larger budget for security this year that will allow it to hire private companies for security and safety.

“NYPD will provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials,” the group’s statement said.

NYC Pride’s own history shows how fraught this issue really is. The city’s first ever pride parade was organized in 1969 as a protest against a police crackdown on the city’s gay bars. The original riots and demonstrations in the 1960s were led largely by trans women, while today, Black trans people face extreme rates of police violence, harassment, and incarceration.

In response to the NYC Pride decision, the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) issued a statement calling it “shameful.”

“Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large scale event to occur without police presence. So their response to activist pressure is to take the low road by preventing their fellow community members from celebrating their identities and honoring the shared legacy of the Stonewall Riots,” that statement read.

Amid larger conversations about the presence of police and corporate sponsors at Pride events, uniformed officers have also been banned from participating in Pride in Toronto and Minneapolis.