PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Following a controversial social media post, the organization behind Philadelphia’s Pride Festival has shut down and canceled the festival.
“That is irresponsible of them. Philadelphians, LGBTQIA Philadelphians deserve a Pride, deserve to be seen,” Abdul-Aliy Muhammad with Black and Brown Workers Co-op said.
Condemnation for Philly Pride Presents after the group abruptly shut down and canceled its Pride festival that was scheduled for September.
“To me, it’s very tragic and it really speaks to the fact that for those who are most marginalized, their voice does not matter,” Kendall Stephens, an LGBTQIA+ civil rights activist, said.
The controversy arose out of a post made on social media. Philly Pride Presents was referencing the Stonewall Riots, but referred to the trans women who were fighting off harassment from police as people “dressed as women.” They followed up with another post, apologizing, but activists say it was too little, too late.
“To me, I thought it was a slap in the face to a community that is the most vulnerable inside the LGBT community,” Stephens said.
As activists try to rebuild Pride, they say what they want to see is an organization that is more inclusive of the city’s character.
“For years Pride has been corporatized, it has not been about the community,” Muhammad said. “We’re yearning to be seen differently and to be seen completely and not to be used by organizations as numbers.”
“I’m really hoping that we do have a Pride that looks like, feels like, that is the experience of so many of us who have been rendered invisible and rendered silent for so many years,” Stephens said.