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Gay Bureaucrats Are Taking Over Our Nightlife

Last week SFPD met with SF Pride at Manny’s (where else?) and came to a “compromise” after being told that cops couldn’t march in uniform at the parade. Now they can, so long as they don’t carry guns. What’s truly sickening is that some of the members of the Board of Pride are old enough to remember when SFPD beat, raped, and ruined the lives of queer and trans people in the city, especially people of color. This is a betrayal and a selling-out of our gay liberationist elders, but it’s also completely expected. The way SF Pride is structured, as a nonprofit, defangs it and promotes the continuation of power structures that oppress some communities in order to maintain the privileges of others. Pride needs the favor of London Breed and the cops, even if queer people are still suffering from their actions.

And it’s not only Pride that has grown into a corporate entity — even our orgies have nonprofits.

San Francisco is creating a set of queer institutions to steward our resources and represent our interests to the government. But these nonprofits are not queering anything. They’re simply replicating straight society. Arranging our communities around nonprofits means that power accumulates around us in the same way it does anywhere else. Instead of figuring out a way to queer that concentration of power, the gay corporation is stuck with exactly the same failures of imagination and professionalized thinking as any other 501c3. What do we do if we want more diversity at the sex party? We hire an EDI officer. How do we solve conflict? The Board takes a vote…and so on. The orgy now needs human resources, and we are in despair.

We must get out of this trap, where the only way to interface with straight society is to emulate it. If Pride is for all of us, we should all get the chance to decide whether we want cops to be there. For us, that means continuing to boycott all the official events and create our own alternatives, and consciously trying to escape from corporate thinking and (the bad kind of) bootlicking. No more gay bureaucrats!

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