Monday, August 21, 2017
The Upstander

Resistance Works! What I Learned From Taking Back NY Pride

Clementine Havemeyer March 31, 2017 LGBTQ, Opinion Comments Off on Resistance Works! What I Learned From Taking Back NY Pride

Three weeks ago, LA Pride organizers announced that the city’s annual parade would be replaced by a march to protest President Trump’s treatment of LGBTQ citizens. Plans were quickly put into action to do the same for New York’s flagship Pride event.

In two separate meetings on March 13 and March 21, activist groups Gays Against Guns and Rise and Resist, among others, met with Heritage of Pride, the organizers of New York Pride, to request that the Anti-Trump movement be included in the march.

I was one of many who spoke at the forum to pressure Heritage of Pride to allow the resistance to be represented. I felt it was important that this year’s event reflect the fact that the LGBTQ community is under siege.

This week the organizers agreed to incorporate the resistance in the march. Following the victory, I learned some important lessons about resistance.

First, there’s power in numbers—the effort to take back Pride was originally led by a small number of activists but it really picked up steam when resistance groups got involved en masse.

Second, although Heritage of Pride was physically on the other side of the table, by the end of the two meetings, I realized that we were all on the same side. The organizers might have been grappling with the logistics of incorporating thousands more protesters into this year’s march, but everyone in the room was and is horrified by President Trump’s anti-LGBTQ agenda. In the end, our commonalities bound us together.

Finally, I learned that words matter. If you can stand up in front of a room full of people and speak from your heart about why an issue matters, you can surely win theirs.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Heritage of Pride for honoring the spirit of the civil rights movement from which it grew. When the Anti-Trump movement marches at NYC Pride this summer, we will remember this day.

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