I marched in the Auckland Pride Parade last night. My friends crashed it in protest of the police and corrections presence in the parade. Emmy, a Maori trans woman, ended up in hospital with a broken arm after Pride security assaulted her. Police left her for 30 minutes without providing first aid. Parade spectators cheered as she was dragged off the road, being physically harmed. MPs who have held discussions directly with the trans community in which we made it very clear we were concerned about police and corrections treatment of us are posting in support of police. Parade organisers are upset and think Pride “shouldn’t be politicised”. Supporters of the organisers are saying Emmy and co could have marched ‘legitimately’ and had their message seen and recognised.
I marched in silence. In black. Holding a candle left over from the vigil for Charlotte Amelia Loh. I marched “legitimately”. I was a parade fucking marshal. Was I recognised? No.
Response from onlookers varied but was never positive. Applause and cheers for floats ahead of us died down as we approached. Some clapped politely. Others ignored us and yelled in support for those behind us. The worst hurled verbal abuse at us: “put a smile on ya face” or “lighten the fuck up”.
This community does not want us heard. It has benefited from the labour and work of trans women of colour since Stonewall and now that it has all the cis white gays need it’s kicking trans women out. We are routinely ignored, dismissed, erased, and labelled crazy, demanding, and problematic. This community denies the claims that it loves us more dead than it does alive, and does everything it can to make sure we don’t last.
Last night thousands cheered in support of hundreds of drag queens. They cheered as a trans woman was brutally abused.
Watch this footage of Emmy on the ground. Listen to how obvious her screams of pain and for help are. Watch as police and security do nothing for her.
Sit down and fucking realise what you’ve done, queer community of Auckland. Realise what you’re doing, and realise that you need to change.
Update 4.07pm: it’s come to our attention that the president of GABA, Heather Carnegie, physically pulled one of the protesters off the road and severely damaged another’s phone to the extent that footage being filmed is irretrievable. This behavior, responding with violence instead of support, is absolutely reprehensible for a community leader.
Update 4.29pm: A storify of tweets from last night and this morning can be found here.
Update 23/02 10.40am: NZ Police have “reviewed footage” and found themselves innocent of brutality or of any “improper action” but are still investigating other parties (which we hope means Pride security, the ones who threw Emmy to the ground, breaking her arm).
Update 11.27am: No Pride in Prisons have released a statement to media. Emmy is still hospitalised.