Cops at Pride

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It took half a century, but this LGBT Pride month, the New York police department finally apologized for the infamous 1969 raid on the Stonewall gay bar. Some queer New Yorkers had a simple response: apology not accepted.

“It was a symbolic PR stunt,” said Colin P Ashley, a local queer black activist. “The NYPD is still an oppressive force in so many lives.” Ashley is part of Reclaim Pride, a coalition that wants more than a 50-year-late apology. The group wants police removed from Pride altogether.

Queer and trans activists across the US are engaging in “cops out of Pride” efforts this month, with protests and alternative “cop-free” events that seek to recognize the ongoing police mistreatment of LGBT people. These groups are pushing back against corporate-sponsored parades that embrace police in the name of “inclusion” and “unity” – and return to the radical and riotous roots of the movement.

“Police have often been a force of terror for queer and trans communities,” said Malkia Devich Cyril, a queer activist and leader in the group Movement for Black Lives, who said they won’t be attending San Francisco Pride due to the way police and corporations have co-opted it.

“The efforts to remove policing from Pride are really efforts to ensure safety for the communities that are there. It’s a protective act. It’s an act of resistance,” said Cyril, whose mother was a member of the Black Panthers. “It’s an act that attempts to restore some measure of safety to our rights to organize.”

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YouTuber Daniel Howell came out

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Daniel Howell, a YouTuber from the UK with 6.5 million subscribers came out in a video titled Basically I’m gay. “We live in a heteronormative world,” the 27-year-old says. “What this means is that most people are presumed to be straight so, if you’re not, at some point you have to come out. So yep: I’m here, I’m queer and don’t worry, I’m still filled with existential fear.”

In the 45-minute video, Howell goes on to explain his coming out journey, why he has decided to do so now, and just what queerness means to him.

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