The intersection of ordinary violence and police violence is particularly problematic for LGBTQ people. New data show that on average LGBTQ people are four times more likely to be victims of violent crime than cis/straight people.

Yet we are far less likely to turn to the police for help. We know the deck is stacked against us.

When I was gay bashed in Greenwich Village with my partner, neither of us considered for even a moment that we should call the police. We knew that could turn sour way too fast.

When I was younger, I was a member of Queer Nation, a group born in outraged response to a wave of anti-LGBTQ street violence in washing over New York City.

When we marched to take back the streets, the New York City Police Department jeered us, taunted us, and picked us off out of the crowd one at a time to beat the hell out of us.

We were taking back the streets in acts of defiant liberation against violence, and our most dedicated enemies were cops. Every time.

So when uniformed police want to march in our parades or be parts of our festivals, I shudder.

The police are never on the side of the marginalized. They are certainly not advocates for LGBTQ people. They exist to preserve the privilege of white, cis, straight, wealthy people.

And woe to those who dare stand in their way.

Thanks for a great article.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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