ST. LOUIS — Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG), an advocacy organization for transgender people in the St. Louis metro area, announced Wednesday that they will not participate in the St. Louis Pride Parade. They made the announcement on their Facebook page.
MTUG and the local transgender community had been named this year’s grand marshals for the parade. However, MTUG had reacted strongly when organizers Pride St. Louis reversed their decision on allowing police to march in uniform in the parade.
The full statement from MTUG on their Facebook page:
The Metro Trans Umbrella Group is a grassroots non-profit organization that is working to build social and emotional support networks for transgender expansive humans in the St. Louis metro area. This year, on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we were offered the honor of leading the Pride parade. Visibility can be powerful, especially for trans people who are afraid to love themselves, for young ones to see that they can have a future, and for trans people who want to be seen and embraced by our cisgender LGBQIA family.
We are disappointed in the decision to have uniformed law enforcement officers march in the Pride parade. Our struggles against police brutality have not ended in the 50 years since Stonewall. Transgender people in our community and throughout the country continue to experience trauma and harassment from police. Their presence makes us more vulnerable to harm. There has been no justice for Kiwi Herring. Our organization will not be participating, and we call upon our allies to change the conversation away from a parade and toward liberation.
Our community is struggling. This week, we heard about the death of Brooklyn Lindsey, a black transgender woman in Kansas City. This must end. For many of us, Pride often marks another year of survival, but this month continues to be marked with tragedy. We need our allies to join us in fighting transphobia, especially transphobia against black trans women, in all forms.
In St. Louis, we struggle to connect our community with food, housing, employment, and healthcare. Transphobia is embedded in our systems, and we need a seat at the table for all decisions that affect us. We need citizen accountability of the police that is accessible to black trans people. We have a plan to serve our unhoused family, and we need Mayor Krewson to support us in addressing the housing epidemic.
The road to liberation is long, and we also need celebration. The transgender expansive community is beautiful, creative, and powerful. Those who want to hold visibility in the parade are welcome to take it. Celebrate yourselves, and love and take care of each other.
– Sayer Johnson
Metro Trans Umbrella Group
We have reached out to Pride St. Louis for comment.