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  • Writer's pictureAndrés Cano

CANO: Why I'm skipping Phoenix Pride

April 3rd, 2018

Let's call it like it is: our queer and trans people of color are being adversely harmed by our criminal justice system.

In Arizona, people who are brown, poor, and gay have a higher chance of being incarcerated, and once they're in the system, it's hard to find a way out.

50 years ago, law enforcement officers in New York raided gay bars to intimidate, humiliate, and incarcerate us.

Times have changed, but now we're not just at the mercy of those wearing our police uniforms. Now we also need to look closely at the roles of our politicians, the rulings of our judges, and the financial statements of our major corporations.

It's no wonder why some Arizonans are upset with Phoenix Pride organizers: this year's parade sponsor, Bank of America, has fronted more than $1 billion dollars to subsidize the private-prison industry.

Why does this matter? It matters because our legislature has passed budgets on the promise of locking more people up.

It matters because some of my colleagues seem more interested in posing for photo-ops this weekend, rather than using their privilege to give voice to meaningful and inclusive criminal-justice reform.

It is not fair that Arizona's gay bourgeoisie looks the other way while telling our queer and trans people of color to stand down.

We are already down. In fact, we're locked down-- and that's why I'm not participating in this year's Phoenix Pride.

Andrés Cano is a Democratic candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in District 3-Tucson. Learn more about him at

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