What is community-led safety?
Community-led safety means bringing together LGBTQ people to determine what we need to be safe and working together to keep each other safe.
Can you explain the forms of violence?
Violence against LGBTQ people can come from strangers, intimate partners, people we know, the state, and institutions.
Incidents of violence, including police violence, continue to disproportionately impact BIPOC transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people, immigrants, people who are low-income and others marginalized in our society.
How does Pride history tie into your campaign?
Pride began after LGBTQ New Yorkers stood up to police harassment and violence at Stonewall. Although we have seen great progress since then, our communities still experience violence at the hands of the police.
Instead of relying on institutions that continue to cause harm, we can build other models for safety that involve community members and organizations we trust and that center the needs of those most impacted by violence.
Why have a Community-Led Safety Campaign during Pride?
In 2020, the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain, Tony McDade and other African American people at the hands of police unleashed a reckoning about policing in this country.
LGBTQ people were very active during the protests and demonstrations that followed these murders.
These incidents brought to the surface a robust discussion about our reliance on police and investment in police during Pride, a time that is sacred to our community. We are now questioning police misconduct in a way we had not in the past.
Why is AVP the right organization to advance a community-led safety campaign?
AVP is an expert in upstander intervention and de-escalation training. This year we will showcase community-led safety models at Pride celebrations throughout the city to demonstrate that it is possible to create and implement new approaches for safety and protection.
What are you doing to model community-led safety during Pride?
AVP will be hosting and participating in a variety of events during Pride season to help demonstrate community-led safety. Join us around NYC for pop-up training/street theater in public spaces at Pride festivals this summer.
AVP is also hosting online Upstander Intervention Trainings, conducting community-led safety training for volunteers at various Pride celebrations, and practicing Day-of Pride Safety Support for smaller festivals and parades. You can learn more or join in by visiting our events page and signing up to volunteer.
What about people who want to go to the police after experiencing violence?
We acknowledge and support those in our community who advocate for police involvement. There are no easy answers and we know there are very few alternatives to engaging the police or the criminal legal system.
We trust every survivor to decide for themselves whether or not to engage the police. AVP will continue to support survivors who want to engage the police and we will continue to advocate to ensure survivors are heard, have what they need, and are treated with respect and dignity.
By taking steps to make it safer for those who are most marginalized and impacted by violence, we create a safer climate for everyone.
Why are you against LGBTQ officers showing their pride by marching in uniform? Why can’t they march?
We support LGBTQ officers marching at Pride. We are asking that they participate out of uniform because the uniform represents institutions that have harmed the most marginalized in our communities.
It’s not about individual LGBTQ officers, it’s about the institution their uniforms represent which has caused harm to many of the most marginalized in our communities.
It’s the institution, not the individuals.
Asking these officers to march out of uniform helps bring a greater sense of safety to those who have been hurt by police in the past. It also promotes healing and helps build greater trust.
While not all LGBTQ people have experienced violence at the hands of police, we must acknowledge those who have been subjected to such violence.
Current systems and structures have protected officers who have been violent. For many, there has been no accountability.
It’s important to support one another, value everyone’s experience and work together to ensure that we all have the resources we need to feel safe.
AVP’s community-led safety campaign is designed to show LGBTQ people how to stay safe and keep each other safe by de-escalating situations and limiting police involvement when possible. By coming together, we can collectively define and determine what is needed in each situation.
How can I get involved in your campaign?
Take our upstander training. Learn how you can help prevent violence and act when it occurs in this free virtual or in-person training.
Volunteer at events this Pride with AVP. Come out to Pride at events across the five boroughs to learn more about community-led safety, or see it in action.
Spread the word on social media. Like and share AVP’s content around community-led safety, and start conversations among your networks.
Sign our pledge. Show your support for our campaign by signing on to the “Our Pride, Our Safety” pledge. Then, share it with your friends.
Donate. If you are able, please consider a donation to support Our Pride, Our Safety as well as AVP’s other vital programs and services for LGBTQ New Yorkers.