FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — June is National LGBT Pride month and after a year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fort Wayne Pride is happy to back in action.
“It was hard hurting on our community and everybody really not to be able to get out and be around people and have that community,” Director of Fort Wayne Pride Nikki Fultz said.
Fultz says after festivities were canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she’s…
“super excited to get back."
Organizers in major cities like New York and Indianapolis have publicly announced they will no longer use police for festivals — instead opting to hire private security firms.
Fultz says that’s not the case here.
“As an organizer, I have to look at, and our board members have to look at what is it that we there to do and we really have to make sure things are safe for our community,” Fultz said.
But for some queer folks like James Boulton — police being there makes them feel unsafe.
“There probably is a necessity for police officers for security at Pride, but in terms of having them March like in parades I think that’s just unnecessary and I think it creates an environment where some people don’t feel welcome — particularly black and brown people, maybe low-income people,” Boulton said.
Boulton says this ignores their history.
The modern gay rights movement started as a police riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969.
Captain Sofia Rosales-Scatena says The Fort Wayne Police Department has been receiving LGBT diversity training in order to better serve the community.
Rosales-Scatena says they’re happy to be present and provide security.
“We do recognize that minority communities, people of color, and LGBT communities have definitely had problems with the police in the past,” Fultz said.
That’s why Fort Wayne Pride provides training to law enforcement.
Training covers correct terminology, pronoun use, history, how to deal with same-sex domestic disputes and more LGBT-related topics.
The festival is scheduled for July 23-24.