The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) was honored to celebrate and commemorate our movement for LGBTQ liberation with our siblings, friends, and supporters at this past weekend’s Pride marches and festival. As we end Pride Month, we recognize and hold space for the continued heightened threat of violence facing our community that will last long after the rainbow flags come down.
Just one week before we marched and gathered in Manhattan for Pride, AVP learned of reports of two men who hurled anti-gay slurs and then attacked someone they thought was LGBTQ directly in front of the NYC AIDS Memorial Park on 7th Avenue at West 12th Street, around the corner from both Stonewall and Manhattan’s LGBT Community Center. In a part of the city historically tied to our fight for liberation, two people chose to harm with hate violence again.
To ensure that the conversation about our safety was not lost during the celebration, AVP reinforced our Pride activities with actions to lift the voices of survivors of violence. AVP installed banners marking the site of the incident directly along the pride route with our 24/7 hotline number and a message noting that an incident of hate occurred at that very location. We know that even though on Sunday our community members came together to march through our city streets being unapologetically LGBTQ, every day our communities face real threats for simply being themselves. And for many, even the affirming nature of Pride does not decrease, and can in fact increase, the harm faced being LGBTQ where they live, work or exist.
AVP also worked to bring visibility to what each of us can do if we see real or perceived violence in our community. AVP staff and activists held pop-up Upstander trainings at the Manhattan Pride Festival, to engage attendees in a conversation about community-led safety.
Working to end violence has never been as important as it is right now, as we continue to witness many of the institutions we have turned to for safety and increased rights and protection instead further criminalize, dehumanize and harm our communities. For more than 40 years, AVP has been on the front lines of building safety within our communities, and we are still here. Call our hotline if you experience or witness violence. Connect with AVP’s Our Pride, Our Safety campaign to help reimagine and build community-led safety. AVP’s organizers will be doing even more outreach citywide to support community safety. Sign our pledge to work alongside us to build community-led safety initiatives.
We are proud to serve and support LGBTQ survivors of violence and call on everyone to join us in working to create a safe world for all. Remember that AVP is always here to support, call or text us at 212-714-1141 to get assistance or resources if you are or ever have been a survivor or witness of violence.