Tools

Pride Can’t Go Back to What It Was Before

It might have been the sight of a muscled roller skater in a lacy tutu, or of a thong-clad twerker commanding an on-the-move cheering circle, or of a giant paper-mache puppet of Janelle Monáe that made the epiphany hit. It could have been the sign that said “‘Productive’ Sex Sucks!,” or the chant about bottoms and tops both hating cops, or the beautiful graffiti-style poster of Tony McDade, a black trans man recently shot and killed by a police officer in Tallahassee. Maybe it was seeing neoprene fetish headgear doing the same anti-viral protective work as surgical masks and bandanas.

But at a certain point during the Queer Liberation March in New York City on Sunday, 50 years after the first annual celebration of the Stonewall uprising, the feeling became overwhelming: Pride should always be like this.

What Pride was before, and what it tried to be this year via webcasts, does of course encompass political demonstration and aesthetic fabulosity. But in a regular year, the summer LGBTQIA+ fests in cities worldwide—and in New York City especially—are parades, not protests. Subcultures and service organizations segment themselves between or on top of motorized floats. There’s some sense of competition as to who can inculcate the loudest cheers and the most glitter rain from spectators. That the event celebrates acceptance more than resistance is made plain by the police who join the parade as well as the corporations. Drag queens smile from pharma-sponsored thrones. Viewers cool themselves off with bank-branded fans.

In recent years, maybe since the nationwide legalization of gay marriage in 2015, triumphalism has outshone much sense of political urgency. (Clay Benskins)

The big spectacle of Pride—the parade, the parties, and the other affiliated events—is always inspiring because the right to public pleasure is so hard-fought for queer people. But in recent years, maybe since the nationwide legalization of gay marriage in 2015, triumphalism has outshone much sense of political urgency. Alternative events, eschewing the support of corporations and law enforcement, have sprung up, emphasizing the movement’s unfinished work—work that largely involves protecting queer people who aren’t white and wealthy. In some cases activists have openly clashed with mainstream Pride, like when protesters blocked the path of Washington, D.C.’s 2017 parade and forced it to be rerouted. In other cases, they’ve simply thrown their own anti-assimilationist march.

This year, the establishment festivities went digital due to the coronavirus pandemic. So the Queer Liberation March was the only major real-life outpouring for Stonewall’s anniversary in New York City, and it built explicitly off the Black Lives Matter protests of the past month. The march, in fact, began a block away from the park across from City Hall where those activists have set up a camp. On Sunday, that camp—decked in colorful umbrellas, signs, and graffiti—felt like a replacement for typical Pride street fairs. Makeshift booths offered hot food, radical literature, and sunblock, all for free. The fences were posted with information about the accessibility of nearby bathrooms, phone numbers to lobby lawmakers regarding the death of Breonna Taylor, and a picture of RuPaul next to the words, “Police Brutality, Sashay Away.”

The focus on black trans people, especially transgender black women, points to a coherent and morally urgent way forward for thequeer movement as a whole. (Clay Benskins)

At the march itself, many chants and slogans were familiar from other demonstrations after George Floyd’s killing. But visually it read as a gay fashion party at which it was each person’s duty to stand out. Protesters flaunted bright pink handbags, billowing floral blouses, black leather-ish hoods, kilts, and stilts. There were bare bodies, too—hard and soft, cis and trans. Flesh has always been a key component of the Pride experience; in 1970, at the first Pride in Los Angeles, the Reverend Troy Perry described “a mass of muscle calculated to turn everyone on.” The spectrum of bodies on display Sunday offered a reminder of the purpose of turning people on: to grab attention for one’s message, to preach sex positivity and body acceptance, and, yes, to show pride.

What did the marchers want? Defund the cops rhetoric abounded, as did verbal and visual tributes to black trans people failed by the American justice system. A large effigy memorialized Marsha P. Johnson, the influential veteran of the Stonewall uprising whose 1992 death, activists alleged, was insufficiently investigated by the NYPD. Signs mourned Layleen Polanco, the New York ballroom-scene fixture whose 2019 death at Rikers Island led to the disciplining of 17 correctional officers for misconduct. The focus on black trans people, especially transgender black women, points to a coherent and morally urgent way forward for thequeer movement as a whole. Trans people of color experience disproportionate rates of violence, incarceration, and poverty. Defending their lives involves attacking the various structural bigotries—political, cultural, economic—that also bear down on the rest of the LGBTQ population: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia.

The question of how to support black trans people also demonstrates the risks of getting too cozy with corporate America. Pride sponsors such as Verizon, FedEx, and AT&T fly rainbow flags while also donating to conservative politicians who demonize anti-racist activists and work to roll back trans protections. ​​​It’s true that Pride’s business-world backers do contribute materially to the queer movement, including by helping it throw spectacular parades and parties globally every year. But on Sunday it certainly did not feel like anything was lost in the lack of ticky-tack souvenirs with bank logos on them, or block parties where participants pay a cover charge while also being subjected to wall-to-wall vodka ads. Instead, the joy of gathering en masse was bolstered by the energy of having clear purpose. “Pride isn’t cancelled,” read one sign. “It’s refocused.”

Such refocusing of course is not without peril. For some participants, the Queer Liberation March ended with being pepper sprayed or arrested by NYPD officers, who can be seen on video running into crowds that’d been milling about. Crackdowns like these, so characteristic of the past month of protests, evoke what happened in 1969 at Stonewall: a riot against police harassment. The defiance, danger, and burning need behind that historical event has been only a hazy memory at recent Prides, but maybe now that will change. Standing along the protest route, on the edge of the Occupy City Hall camp, I glanced down at one point and saw the Anarchy symbol stenciled on the pavement. Next to it someone had graffitied this: “I think there is hope for us in that an ‘us’ even exists.”


Load more
Read full article on: theatlantic.com
Kristen Doute learned about ‘Vanderpump’ firing minutes before news broke
Kristen Doute is finally opening up about her unexpected firing from "Vanderpump Rules."
nypost.com
Daniel Turner: Biden’s harmful radical energy plan panders to AOC and other far-left extremists for votes
Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a confusing and impractical $2 trillion plan to combat climate change Tuesday that would harm our economy, destroy more jobs than it would create, and offer little if any environmental benefits in a world where China and other nations keep increasing carbon dioxide emissions.
foxnews.com
222 L.A. tech companies pledged to improve on diversity. Have they made any progress?
A new report from PledgeLA shows local venture capital firms invest in women, Black and Latino start-up founders at double the rate of the industry at large.
latimes.com
This is what national decline looks like
2020 will decide whether we continue on our unserious trajectory.
washingtonpost.com
Johnny Depp’s staffer recalls finding severed fingertip, cuts on Amber Heard’s arm
“I was told that Mr. Depp’s fingertip had been severed. Whilst cleaning up the broken glass and debris, I looked for the fingertip and found it on the floor of the bar area,"
nypost.com
Baby snuggles into 140-pound gentle giant
This kid has a 140-pound friend in his corner. See how 1-year-old Nicholas cuddles up next to the family dog, a gigantic Newfoundland named Odin, in this adorable exchange. “We hope sharing their story will bring joy to the world during these uncertain times,” Massachusetts mom Alena Danilovich said.   Subscribe to our YouTube!
nypost.com
Kansas Congressman Charged With Three Felonies for Voter Registration Listing UPS Store as His Residence
Sir, this is a UPS store.
slate.com
Texas Democrat MJ Hegar To Face Cornyn; Maine's Sara Gideon Will Challenge Collins
In a night of primaries, President Trump's personal physician Ronny Jackson secured a nomination to represent a Texas congressional district and Jeff Sessions lost a bid to regain his Senate seat.
npr.org
Apple wins victory against E.U. as court rules it does not have to pay back tax fine
An appeals court crimped the E.U.’s aggressive antitrust enforcement effort against the tech giant.
washingtonpost.com
A Different Cold War
And what else you need to know today.
nytimes.com
UFC on ESPN 13 play-by-play and live results (7 p.m. ET)
Check out live play-by-play and official results from UFC on ESPN 13 in Abu Dhabi.       Related StoriesUFC on ESPN 13 discussion threadJimmie Rivera motivated by Petr Yan's title win at UFC 251: 'I think I gave him his toughest fight'UFC on ESPN 13 breakdown: Bad style matchup in the main event, but for whom? 
usatoday.com
UFC on ESPN 13 discussion thread
UFC on ESPN 13 takes place Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, and you can discuss the event here.       Related StoriesJimmie Rivera motivated by Petr Yan's title win at UFC 251: 'I think I gave him his toughest fight'UFC on ESPN 13 breakdown: Bad style matchup in the main event, but for whom?UFC doesn't plan on changing 'Fight Island' judges 
usatoday.com
7 MLB prospects (not named Luis Robert) whose debuts could shape the wild 2020 season
Here are seven MLB prospects (not including Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox) who could make their debuts, and a big impact, in 2020.      
usatoday.com
Atlanta mayor’s ties to predecessor could damage VP chances
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, considered to be on former Vice President Joe Biden’s shortlist of vice presidential candidates, could have her chances complicated by her ties to her predecessor, who left his position amid a pay for play investigation that has resulted in charges for several top aides in his administration.
foxnews.com
The US reports more than 67,000 new cases, highest daily jump so far
edition.cnn.com
The D.C. health lab has tested 13,706 blood samples. Only 809 people carried coronavirus antibodies.
The District will continue to offer free antibody tests at three sites for one more month, hoping to learn more about how the virus is spread.
washingtonpost.com
Shaquille O’Neal stops to help motorist stranded on the side of a Florida highway
The TNT analyst and former NBA all-star was said to have “fist bumped” deputies from a Florida sheriff's office after they arrived at the scene.
washingtonpost.com
The United States is treating Hong Kong as mainland China. Business is starting to do the same
The relationship between China and the West is rapidly eroding, and that could have serious implications for Hong Kong's status as a global financial hub.
edition.cnn.com
Marcus Rashford to be awarded honorary doctorate by University of Manchester
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is to become the youngest ever recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.
edition.cnn.com
UK's Huawei 5G ban could prompt other nations to follow suit
The UK's decision to ban Huawei from its 5G networks was a big victory for the Trump administration and could lead to other nations following suit. It also risks a backlash from China. CNN's Sherisse Pham reports.
edition.cnn.com
What may come of the WHO's "honest evaluation" of its COVID response?
"This has been a bad experience, and we need to learn from it," former New Zealand leader says of a new, independent panel's mandate.
cbsnews.com
One Meat Plant, One Thousand Infections: Revisiting Achut Deng
After surviving civil war in Sudan, one of America’s most vulnerable workers faced the coronavirus. How has she been doing since?
nytimes.com
Prosecutor investigating couple who brandished guns at protesters says governor and Trump are targeting her
The office of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said on Twitter that Missouri's governor and President Donald Trump "came after her" for investigating a case.
edition.cnn.com
Reckoning with the Trump effect on school reopening
Donald Trump's malignant distractions on difficult questions like the reopening of schools are sadly emblematic of an America unable to make thoughtful policies while suffering through a pandemic and a recession without any proper leadership, writes Lincoln Mitchell.
edition.cnn.com
The Worst of Both Worlds
Failed businesses and lost loved ones, empty theme parks and socially distanced funerals, a struggling economy and an unmitigated public-health disaster: This is the worst-of-both-worlds equilibrium the United States finds itself in.Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has railed against shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, tweeting in all caps that “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself” and pushing for employees to get back to work and businesses to get back to business. But the country has failed to get the virus under control, through masks, contact tracing, mass testing, or any of the other strategies other countries have tried and found successful. That has kneecapped the nascent recovery, and raised the possibility that the unemployment rate, which eased in May and June after nearly reaching 15 percent in April, could spike again later this year.[Annie Lowrey: The second Great Depression]The economy seized in unprecedented terms this spring as states and cities mandated lockdowns. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, and millions of workers were furloughed or laid off. But instead of setting up a national viral-control strategy during this time, as other rich countries did, the United States did close to nothing. Congress underfunded disease research and contact-tracing efforts. No federal agency coordinated the procurement of personal protective equipment. Months into the pandemic, health professionals were still reusing masks for days at a time. The Trump administration punted responsibility for public-health management to the states, each tipping into a budgetary crisis. After a springtime peak, caseloads declined only modestly. Outbreaks seeded across the country. States reopened, and counts exploded again.Now the economy is traveling sideways, as business failures mount and the virus continues to maim and kill. New applications for unemployment insurance, for instance, are leveling off at more than 1 million a week—more than double the highest rate reached during the Great Recession, a sign that more job losses are becoming permanent. After rising when the government sent stimulus checks and expanded unemployment-insurance payments, consumer spending is falling again, down 10 percent from where it was a year ago. Homebase, a provider of human-resources software, says that the rebound has hit a “plateau,” in terms of hours worked, share of employees working, and number of businesses open.The next, terrifying phase of the coronavirus recession is here: a damaged economy, a virus spreading faster than it was in March. The disease itself continues to take a bloody, direct toll on workers, with more than 60,000 Americans testing positive a day and tens of thousands suffering from extended illness. The statistical value of American lives already lost to the disease is something like $675 billion. The current phase of the pandemic is also taking an enormous secondary toll. States with unmitigated outbreaks have been forced to go back into lockdown, or to pause their reopening, killing weakened businesses and roiling the labor market. Where the virus spreads, the economy stops.That is not just due to government edicts, either. Some consumers have rushed back to bars and restaurants, and resumed shopping and traveling. Young people, who tend to get less sick from the coronavirus than the elderly, appear to be driving today’s pandemic. But millions more are making it clear that they will not risk their life or the life of others in their community to go out. Avoidance of the virus, more so than shutdown orders, seems to be affecting consumer behavior. Places without official lockdowns have seen similar financial collapses to those with them, and a study by University of Chicago economists showed that decreases in economic activity are closely tied to “fears of infection” and are “highly influenced by the number of COVID deaths reported” in a given county. [Read: A devastating new stage of the pandemic]In other ways, the spread of COVID-19 is keeping Americans from going back to work. The perception of public transit as unsafe, for example, makes it expensive and tough for commuters to get to their jobs. Schools and day-care centers are struggling to figure out how to reopen safely, meaning millions of parents are facing a fall juggling work and child care. This is a disaster. “The lingering uncertainty about whether in-person education will resume isn’t the result of malfeasance, but utter nonfeasance,” the former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem has argued in The Atlantic. “Four months of stay-at-home orders have proved that, if schools are unavailable, a city cannot work, a community cannot function, a nation cannot safeguard itself.”International comparisons are enlightening. Countries that successfully countered the virus seem to have enjoyed better financial recoveries; countries that did not shut down saw major hits to their economy anyway. In Sweden, authorities declined to enact strict public-health measures as the virus took hold. It has seen significantly higher case counts and more deaths than its neighbors, such as Norway, and its economy tanked. Or consider South Korea. With aggressive contact tracing and mass testing, it kept many of its commercial and educational facilities open as it quashed the pandemic. (The country has tallied just 288 deaths from COVID-19, compared with roughly 135,000 in the United States.) The unemployment rate there is 4.2 percent, and the economy is expected to contract just a small amount this year, due in part to falling exports.In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did a “little dance” to celebrate the country’s reopening one full month ago. In Taiwan, thousands of fans cheered from the stands at a baseball game last week, unafraid of disease. In France, one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, families are back to going on vacation, eating in cafés, and visiting loved ones in hospitals. In the United States, outbreaks are shutting everything down yet again.[Read: New Zealand’s prime minister may be the most effective leader on the planet]The United States can still contain the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, epidemiologists argue. The country can still flatten the curve and lower the death toll. Simple, low-cost measures like requiring masks in public would preserve as much as 5 percent of GDP, economists have estimated, as well as preventing thousands from getting sick. The supposed trade-off between public health and the economy doesn’t exist. And right now, the country is choosing not to save either.
theatlantic.com
Power Up: Trump’s spaghetti on the wall campaign is still seeking its special sauce
The president’s rambling Rose Garden speech hit Biden, China, and the Green New Deal.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Were Will and Jada holding back during their ‘Red Table Talk’?
A body language expert took a look at the couple’s “Red Table Talk” conversation about their momentary breakup and Jada’s “entanglement” with August Alsina.
1 h
nypost.com
Gregg Jarrett: Armed couple who defended St. Louis home when threatened shouldn’t be prosecuted
The St. Louis couple displaying guns when threatened by a mob acted lawfully. They should not be prosecuted.
1 h
foxnews.com
Give teachers 'medical grade PPE' to get schools reopened and students back in class, pediatrician urges
Teachers should have access to "medical grade PPE" so schools can safely reopen, a pediatrician told CNN.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
5 things to know for July 15: Coronavirus, CDC, election, Taliban, Weinstein
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
What happened on Richard Quest's first flight in four months
CNN's professional frequent flier describes the emotional experience of boarding his first plane since the early days of the pandemic -- and how flying has changed forever.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
What happened on Richard Quest's first flight in four months
It was my first flight in nearly four months after the longest separation I've had from aviation in 35 or 40 years.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Rival EPL managers criticize Man City's overturned ban
There's been fallout from the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to overturn Manchester City's two-year ban from the Champions League. Safe to say that rival Premier League managers were not too happy with it.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Trump heads to Georgia, one of the new 2020 battleground states
The latest CBS News Battleground Tracker poll rates Georgia as a toss-up for the presidential election; currently, Biden leads Trump by two points.
1 h
cbsnews.com
Election Day could turn into "Election Week" with rise in mail ballots
Election officials say the public should prepare now for the possibility of delayed election results in November.
1 h
cbsnews.com
David Duke’s War Against Two Louisiana Governors
In the 1991 race to lead the state, the ex-Klansman found a new way to expand his appeal.
1 h
slate.com
Ali Noorani: Trump should let DACA recipients become citizens — it will benefit US and his election chances
What will President Trump do about the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, created by President Obama to allow children brought to the U.S. without authorization to remain here?
1 h
foxnews.com
SBA grant program attracting the wrong kind of attention
Scam artists drawn by the lure of “free money” are drawing scrutiny from the agency’s inspector general
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Column: California's aid-in-dying law is working. Let's expand it to Alzheimer's patients
It will raise a fraught and contentious ethical debate. But dementia sufferers should be able to choose assisted suicide.
1 h
latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: Read COVID-19 horror stories, then answer: Why aren't you wearing a mask?
Forcing mask refusers to read a hospice chaplain's harrowing op-ed article should change a few minds, hopefully.
1 h
latimes.com
Op-Ed: Civil rights lawsuits alone won't give us the America we want
To dismantle systemic racism, we have to do more than look to the Supreme Court or other judges to save us.
1 h
latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: I was laid off in March, and I'm still waiting for an answer on my unemployment
A reader says he's familiar with the routine of calling 100 times to speak to a live person about his unanswered California unemployment claim.
1 h
latimes.com
Garry Trudeau is spoofing the Trump presidency by treating it as ‘a hostile takeover’
The "Doonesbury" creator says his new book "Lewser!" aims to show how Trump is "privatizing the gain while socializing the pain."
1 h
washingtonpost.com
A 7-year-old raises $23,000 to buy skin-colored crayons and multicultural books for her California school
Madison Wilson, 7, said she hopes other children of color feel respected when they draw pictures with their new crayons and read the books she plans to donate.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Letters to the Editor: It's not 'cancel culture.' It's finally holding privileged people accountable
Instead of worrying about the people "canceled" for actions taken long ago, worry about the people who have long suffered because of those actions.
1 h
latimes.com
Diversity job openings fell nearly 60% after the coronavirus. Then came the Black Lives Matter protests.
Companies slashed hiring for diversity and inclusion jobs in March, with openings for those roles falling twice as fast as for other listings. Then came the protests after George Floyd was killed, and hiring rebounded.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Letters to the Editor: Why a 'CAREN' bill on false police reports would make people of color safer
People of color cannot rely on prosecutors to punish people who wrongly call the police.
1 h
latimes.com
Back-to-school tax holidays: Tax-free shopping comes to 16 states this summer. Here's who is giving a tax break.
Sales tax holidays will still happen this summer in 16 states including Florida, Maryland, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.       
1 h
usatoday.com