Oshkosh, WI: LGBTQ youth and supporters gather to celebrate Pride
Oshkosh, WI – On June 30, over 60 people of all ages met to socialize safely and to discuss issues that impact the LGBTQ community, and the damage that homophobia creates for youth. Due to the impact of COVID-19 over the last year and a half many teens felt isolated and disconnected from supportive peers and inclusive spaces.
One teen, who wished to remain unnamed, said, “It was super important to have a space to celebrate our identities without school, our parents, or any stranger policing our bodies. It was also nice to learn how we can stick together and fight back!”
There was an onsite counselor through Reach Counseling who was there to assist any youth struggling and to provide resources for youth victims of sexual violence and other attacks related to their gender identity. One of the key themes of the event was expressing solidarity with the Black and brown communities who also identify as LGBTQ and their allies.
Since Pride originated as a rebellion against police and political repression it was appropriate for organizers to also highlight our need for an all elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) to hold police officers fully accountable for harm done when cops commit crimes.
Hollie Poupart, a host and member of the Wisconsin Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, emphasized the historical relationship between police violence and LGBTQ community.
“For far too long police officers and those in positions of power have been able to target, harass, humiliate, misgender, abuse and even murder beautiful members of our communities without any true consequences,” Poupart said. “This has to stop and if we want change; we need to elect a body of marginalized people who have no problem hearing testimonies and holding police officers accountable.”