FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2017
Firing Bryan Pruitt Is Just the Beginning: It’s Time for Capital Pride to Address Its Systemic Failure of the Queer and Trans Community
WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, April 25, No Justice No Pride, a collective initially formed out of ResistThis, uncovered and publicized a quote from an article Capital Pride Executive Producer Bryan Pruitt wrote for far-right online publication RedState in May of 2016. In the article, Pruitt expressed categorically transphobic views, stating that “true trans people” have no problems using public bathrooms, because they go undetected. On Wednesday night, Capital Pride announced via facebook that Pruitt had been asked to resign. DC Queer and Trans Resistance issued the following statement in response:
“By firing Bryan Pruitt, Capital Pride is beginning to recognize they have a problem. Pruitt should never have held a position as part of Capital Pride’s staff. His views are widely known, public, and he has been a part of Capital Pride for many years. While we recognize this as a victory for the community, Capital Pride’s work is not done.
“Pruitt’s dismissal is just the beginning of a wave of change that will soon sweep Capital Pride. The community is paying attention and recognizing that for too long, Capital Pride has colluded with the very forces that oppress queer and trans individuals. Their willingness to turn a blind eye to transphobia, accept money from corporations that profit off of the incarceration of queer and trans people – predominantly queer and trans people of color – and celebrate the Metropolitan Police Department, indicate a fundamental disregard for large swaths of our community.”
“Capital Pride invites the DC Police Department to march in the parade. The same DCPD that introduced “Prostitution Free Zones”, allowing officers to harass and arrest women guilty of walking while trans. The same DCPD in which officers have repeatedly shot and assaulted trans women of color, and countless Black youth, such as Terrance Sterling. The same DCPD currently pursuing felony rioting charges against Inauguration Day protesters. The same MPD that fired 6 shots into a car full of trans women.
“Capital Pride has historically endorsed and accepted sponsorship from large corporations that directly impact and hurt our communities. Wells Fargo, for example – commonly known for its financial role funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, is a major investor in private prisons and immigrant detention centers—their shares are booming under President Trump. Capital Pride even holds all of their funds in a Wells Fargo account, and has given a spot on their board to Wells Fargo employee Jesse Bonales.”
“We are deeply concerned that—even as The Trump administration tears down the veil of ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ that was draped over the White House during the Obama years—mainstream LGBT rights organizations will continue to “pinkwash” the corporations, state agents and others who actively and purposefully harm our community, by giving them platforms in our Pride events.
“The current political climate demands that we act in the true spirit of Pride—an outright rejection of state-sponsored oppression. We must reject the appeasing and centrist politics of the LGBT establishment. Now more than ever, we must not allow Pride to be a de-politicized, corporatized, white-washed celebration.
“No Justice No Pride will continue to apply pressure to Capital Pride until they recognize that the lives of queer and trans individuals marginalized within the LGBT community – particularly black, latinx, Muslim, indigenous and disabled queer and trans folks – matter as much as the White gays and lesbians who have planned Capital Pride in their image for too long.”
No Justice No Pride is a collective initially formed out of ResistThis, which has expanded to include organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia. We exist to end the LGBT movement’s collusion with systems of oppression that further marginalize queer and trans individuals.
Join the resistance at: www.nojusticenopride.org