In response to criticism that rainbow-painted cop cars were co-opting the movement, police reminded queer and trans activists and community members that “Pride” wouldn’t even exist without them.
“Look, we welcome all feedback,” Said NYPD officer Kelly Harris, “But let’s not forget that if it weren’t for the police, the Stonewall riots wouldn’t have even happened. What would they have rioted against? Watered-down cocktails?”
Since ‘Pride’ is an annual remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion when LGBTQ+ folks fought back against police violence, Harris feels like the police are kind of what ‘Pride’ is about.
“Everything needs a catalyst,” said Harris, ”In ‘Breaking Bad’, that was Walter White getting cancer. With Pride, it’s the police harassing queer people. We are the cancer. We’re the reason the whole parade exists. There’s no Pride without us.”
After surveying several branches of the NYPD, 74% of police officers reported feeling that not only should police participate in Pride, they should be leading the parades in a bright blue float.
“Perhaps, in keeping with the theme and festivities, we could use the vantage point of a float to spot homeless queer and trans youth from afar and then arrest them for simply existing!” said Harris.
“I mean we kind of started Pride by throwing people in jail for being gay and gender non-conforming along with many other acts of targeted police brutality that are vital to queer history,” said NYPD Chief Joe Moore, “It’s important to commemorate Black trans activists like Marsha P. Johnson but it’s also important to commemorate how we gave Johnson the opportunity to really shine.”
The survey also showed that 100% of police officers identified as allies if “ally’ meant that they got to use the rainbow-colored siren the next time they break up a protest.
“It takes bravery to stand up for what’s right,” added Moore, “But it also takes bravery to stand up for the status quo, for the establishment, for the powers that be. And I think the police deserve credit for that.”
One up-and-coming politician currently working on helping pass anti-transgender legislation added that, “Pride may be for mostly straight people, corporations, and I guess gay people, too but the police are the minority that is often overlooked.”
“During this Pride month as you celebrate those activists who protested and fought against homophobic laws, and state surveillance and violence, just remember that the police are the reason most of those things exist in the first place,” said Harris, smiling and walking away in her sparkly rainbow jacket. “There is no Pride without the police!”