Okay, the timeline of events. The police submitted to enter the Madison, Wisconsin Pride Parade. Their application was rescinded because there is not a lot of goodwill between the LGBT community and the police, and many people under the LGBT umbrella feel unsafe.
The parade welcomed all officers out of uniform, and without their weapons, but said no official uniformed and weaponed police, please. The police threw a wobbler, because they can’t understand why anyone would feel unsafe by having uniformed police with guns around.
Now the fire department “Doesn’t want to divide the community” and has done so by making a loud pronouncement and pulling from the parade because they are about as self reflective as a bowl full of dicks.
Funny enough, the University of Wisconsin police department, separate from Madison’s finest, who were also effected by the ban on uniformed and weapon holding presence managed to tweeted a fully supported tweet on the day of the parade.
Source: Firefighters boycott Pride march in solidarity with banned police officers · PinkNews
This is the thing. A lot of us have bad histories with uniformed police not because we are criminals but because a police officer that is a bigot can wield their power as a cudgel to enforce their bigotry while on duty. There are officers that do this to the black community up to including murdering black people. There are officers that do it to the LGBT community, and definitely to the trans community.
Until I got my driver’s license gender changed, I was very nervous to be pulled over for any reason. At the time I had to fly to the South for work, and a young transgender man, like me, had been thrown in jail for a week because of that little F, for female, on his drivers license. It was just a traffic stop. Yet the officer totally fucked him, and then the Southern justice system further fucked him over.
These are facts. This happens to us.
Yet, we have police that are in communities that are scarred and fearful of them demanding to be a part of our celebration without doing the work of repairing those relationships.
I did find that Madison has an MPD Pride, LGBT Resource group. They also adopted a policy on dealing with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, spearheaded by MPD Pride. I could not find anything else regarding the MPD’s relationship to LGBT folks with Google, though.
This is all very recent, and it’s a good start. Yet, like most places, there is an endless history of fear from the police in the LGBT community. We’ve seen a few false starts over the years where police department’s attempts at goodwill only lasts as long as the officers spearheading it are there, then it’s back to business as usual.
Pride is not just a big dumb gay party, it IS about politics. This is a way for the MPD to hear from the LGBT community that they are still fearful. That there is still work to be done to repair these relationships.
The fire department? Seriously, fuck them and their entirely divisive decision because they “don’t want to divide the community.”