Yesterday marked New York City’s 41st annual Pride Parade and thousands of revelers descended on downtown to celebrate. Despite reports to the contrary, this year’s shindig was not a spontaneous outpouring for the state’s day-and-a-half old Marriage Equality Act, but the culmination of months of planning paid for by an astronomical amount of sponsor dollars. While many Pride goers don’t know (and, frankly, don’t care) where the funds comes from, those that passed through Sheridan Square were encouraged to follow the money trail.
Bedecked with home-made hot-pink dollar signs, volunteers handed out hundred of fliers and engaged the crowd, raising awareness about some of Pride’s more shady supporters. For example, Target, which donated $150,000 to MN Forward, the conservative Minnesota PAC that helped fund GOP anti-gay gubernatorial candidate, Tom Emmer’s campaign. The fliers also provided “Reasons To Celebrate Strength And Power Within Your Own Community,” including the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Callen Lorde Community Health Center, and FIERCE, which advocates for the rights of queer youth of color in New York City.
While plenty of passers-by declined a flier, many gladly accepted. Among those that took the time to read what they’d been given, most expressed interest in a less corporate Pride.
One person interpreted the illustration on the back —
“What Are You Proud Of?” — as a Christian indictment of their sexuality.
Some even asked for dollar signs of their own to support the message. Others thought they’d been handed a coupon and at least one person interpreted the illustration on the back-“What Are You Proud Of?”-as a Christian indictment of their sexuality. Overall, however, the response was positive and within 2 hours, volunteers had to rush to print more fliers.
The intervention’s organizers, QuORUM (Queers Organizing for Radical Unity and Mobilization), are a consensus-based collective of radical queers dedicated to building empowered queer networks that foster respect, diversity, and social justice. In addition to yesterday’s action, QuORUM has hosted the Queer House Field Day and many skill sharing events throughout the city.