Some news from Edmonton, Canada:
Mayor Don Iveson said he was sad to hear the 2019 Pride Festival was cancelled but also understands it’s a complex situation and not unique to Edmonton.
“I know many Edmontonians from all walks of life enjoy the spirit of inclusion and diversity and everyone being welcome at Pride,” he said Thursday. “A lot of people are mourning that today, concerned that they won’t have that opportunity this year. So it’s very unfortunate.”
So what caused the 2019 Pride Festival to be cancelled? Angry Christian fundamentalists? Alt-right incels in Make Canada Mediocre Again hats? White supremacists? Not quite:
A member on the society’s board of directors, whose name Global News has agreed to keep anonymous, said a funding and volunteer deficit, as well as a belief the organization could not fulfill its goal, led to the decision to cancel the event.
“We felt that we were not fulfilling our mission this year, which is to unify our community.
“And so we felt it best to step back now at a point where we can do that without causing harm to the society’s structure.”
Be patient, soon all will become clear:
In another email, festival organizers wrote about a heated meeting last week between EPFS members and other LGBTQ+ groups called Shades of Colour, which advocates for “queer and trans Indigenous, Black, and people of colour,” and RaricaNow, a group that promotes human rights for LGBTIQ+ refugees and newcomers in Canada.
“The festival has been provided demands, involving a complete restructuring of our festival and our commitments to sponsors, which we needed to bring to our membership,” the Pride Society said in an email dated April 6. “A special meeting was called as per our bylaws.”
So what was presumably a fun day out for the sane if a little extravagant gay community in Edmonton has been hijacked by a tiny bunch of lunatics who think the event should focus more (meaning, only) on non-whites, transsexuals, and refugees.
Police ended up being called when the disagreements became heated.
Which is a polite way of saying when the intersectional headcases didn’t get their way they turned violent.
“They really need to ask themselves: where is that fear coming from?” said Victoria Guzman, a member of Shades of Colour. “Because we are not the source of that fear. Who taught them to be afraid of us? We have been trying to sit at the table peacefully with them for months now. If anyone is going to be violent, it’s going to be the hate groups that show up.
Such as yourselves?
“We never asked for the festival to be cancelled whatsoever,” Guzman added. “We just asked for… We were negotiating on needs that needed to be met.”
We never wanted the guy’s restaurant burned to the ground, we just wanted our money.
She said the groups definitely made demands, but that they were negotiable.
“We made these demands because we felt that the meetings we were going to for the last 10 months weren’t really going anywhere and that they weren’t taking our needs seriously.”
Kevin Michael Grace has generously provided me with the list of demands (word doc). Let’s try to figure out why they weren’t taken seriously:
Reorganize the structure of Pride. Open Pride with a protest lead by QTIBPOC, trans folx and their allies. Allocate funding for QTIBPOC and trans folks to host community building and creative workshops – and make this the main feature of Pride in the Park.
The entire festival must be restructured so as to be in celebration of us.
It is essential, and in line with the theme ‘Stonewall’, that Pride is lead with a protest against systemic injustice. This protest will be filmed in the News…
…and a plane fully loaded with fuel will be waiting on the tarmac at Edmonton airport.
Shades of Colour Community and RaricaNow will assess via email who applies to partake in the protest and ensure the applicants adhere to a set of criteria based on the values and principles of the protest. Upon inspection by Shades of Colour and RaricaNow, applicants will be either permitted or denied entry.
This must be what SJWs mean when they say they’re inclusive.
Workshop themes can and should include: Poetry writing,
songwriting, visual art workshops, navigating gender, navigating race, spirituality and race, unlearning misogyny for masc individuals, queer and trans representation in the media, refugee storytelling workshop, refugee support workshops, cultural music, dance & drama activities, QTIBPOC mentorship, Climate Justice activism, protecting our land, indigeneity, etc.
The only bit of that I recognise is the navigating race, but why they don’t just call it orienteering like everyone else I don’t know.
These workshops and resources should take up the most space and be at the centre of Pride
For all their anti-colonialist rhetoric, this lot make the Conquistadors sound humble.
End Pride in the Park with a vigil to honour the lives of LGBTIQ2S+ activists and community members that were lost due to systemic oppression including transphobia, racism, classism, capitalism, etc.
And that nasty junction out on Highway 216.
Part of this would include setting up a memorial wall listing the names of LGBTIQ2S+ lives lost including those in other countries where their identities are delegitimized and punished.
So the organisers of gay pride need to construct a wall
to keep out Mexicans, carving into it a list of unknown locals and foreigners who have died from, among other things, classism and capitalism. I have no idea why their demands weren’t taken seriously.
Moving forward, we desire Pride in the Park to continue this activity and make it a tradition in the following years.
That’s a lot of wall-building.
Let us also acknowledge the LGBTIQ+ refugees who have suffered not only in refugee camps but also within their own countries due to their sexual orientation.
I’m sorry, I’m trying to picture a tranny wandering around in a refugee camp and I’m having a hard time keeping my composure. All that, by the way, was merely Demand No. 1. Here’s Demand No. 2:
Rework the budget, and provide Shades of Colour (SoC) and RaricaNow with $20,000 each.
At least this now looks like an old-fashioned shakedown.
While we feel that $20,000 is necessary – we are open to negotiations.
How generous. But they’re not done yet. Here’s Demand No.3, and it concerns money again:
Provide the SOC Team and the RaricaNow team with money to access ongoing training so we can best create these spaces for our communities.
At this point a blank cheque will do.
As community organizers we often find ourselves facilitating the training for other agencies, and unfortunately, do not have the opportunity to access conferences ourselves. Often, the knowledge we’re desperately seeking isn’t here yet, and can only be found outside of Edmonton. In these situations, we realistically may need to travel to larger more established cities such as Brooklyn, Oakland, etc where this knowledge exists. Our demand is that the Pride Board funds these learning opportunities so that we can bring the knowledge back to our own communities.
There isn’t enough intersectional lunatic expertise in Edmonton so you need to pay for us to go on jollies to hotbeds of degeneracy such as Oakland and Brooklyn. Demand No. 4:
$1500 to fund a SOC organized QTIBPOC sober dance party on the evening of pride.
I get asking $1500 for a pissup, but who the hell shakes down an organisation for money for a sober party?
Our vision is to provide QTIBPOC with a space to move their bodies in ways that they may not feel safe doing in everyday life or mainstream queer spaces.
When people face queerphobia, transphobia and racism collectively, it can be difficult to form positive relationships to their bodies. For some, dance offers a way to work through those difficult feelings.
Anyway, we need $1500. And shouldn’t you have made a start on that wall by now? Demand No. 5:
Write a public accountability Statement outlining the harm the EPFS has caused the QTIBPOC community and a public commitment to rectifying this harm. This statement will be publicly released with this document by the EPFS.
You, the relatively normal people who were previously minding your own business when we showed up, must release a public statement denouncing yourselves.
We appreciate that the EPFS agreed to meet our demands in 2018. However, there is still some public confusion about your stance on supporting QTIBPOC communities. Our demand is that the EPSF writes a public accountability statement about the harm that the EPFS has caused QTIBPOC+ communities, and also about their commitment towards change.
But don’t forget the twenty grand each we asked for earlier. Demand No. 6:
Feature Shades of Colour and RaricaNow on the front four pages of the Pride Guide.
All your newspapers are belong to us. Demand 7:
Work with RaricaNow to support QTIBPOC refugees and newcomers. Provide resources in writing support letters when necessary, and make a public commitment to centre these communities.
Thought you’d joined Pride to mix it up with like-minded gay folk? Think again: you’re now in the refugee business. Little wonder the organisers decided to pull the plug on the whole thing. Here’s what the mayor said:
The mayor said he’s heard of Pride organizations in other cities encountering similar situations.
“This is not something limited to the city of Edmonton. We understand Pride organizations are encountering challenges around North America, with increasing complexity and what does it mean to be inclusive to everybody.
“I have sympathy for the Pride board and the challenges that they faced trying to figure out how to create an event that is welcoming to everyone, which is the spirit of Pride, that’s its heritage.”
In other words, the tiny minority of intersectional headcases are ruining it for everyone everywhere.
Iveson said it’s not really the city’s place to step in and either mediate the dispute or organize the event itself.
Which is the mayor’s way of backing away slowly, very slowly. I’ve said many times before that gays will rue the day they appended the T to LGB and hooked their campaign wagons together. Although the way the gay lobby works these days, e.g. hounding Colorado bakers to the Supreme Court, my sympathy is limited.