It was a long wait in downtown Minneapolis before the Pride Parade began Sunday.
Our church ditched its regular worship service this year on Pride Sunday, June 24th, to “be church at Pride.” We included folks who weren’t marching by inviting them to make posters the Sunday before that marchers could carry in the parade, and had a send-off gathering early Sunday morning before the marchers headed down to the parade. And in July 8th’s service, some marchers will share how Pride was an expression of their faith.
Pride is important to us. We’re a LGBTQ-open and affirming church, and can’t imagine a church that’s not inclusive. Some of us are familiar with the current buzzword, “intersectionality,” and some aren’t, but all of us agree that the delay in the start of this year’s Twin Cities Pride Parade was worth it.
You see, a black man, Thurman Blevins, was shot the night before in yet another police officer-involved shooting in Minneapolis, and the protest, “No Police in Pride,” was in response to that.
A protest was planned for Pride before the shooting happened, but protest became even more appropriate after the shooting.
Our group heard that some LGBTQ Pride Parade marchers were complaining about the anti-police protest delaying the Pride Parade. Then someone reminded all of us that the Pride movement actually BEGAN as an anti-police protest, the Stonewall Riots in NYC’s Greenwich Village in 1972.
Police had protected patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the Village, but one day in ’72, the police staged a raid on the bar. Patrons pushed back, hard, and Pride was born.
Sometimes when we think our movements and our protests are in competition, we need to retell the stories of how things came about in order to rediscover we’re actually all in this together. Not in competition, or at odds.
In this present age, we cannot afford to have our various movements at odds. One group’s right to protest is ALL groups’ right to protest. If we infringe on one, all are infringed on.
The same is true of groups with whom we disagree, politically and religiously.
The delay for the protest on behalf of Mr. Blevins was well worth the wait.