You don’t need protection from LGBTQ
Both the editorial and article about the Rainbow demonstration at UW were textbook examples of the skewed framing of protests: “Protesters were held back by a metal barrier and monitored by police” and “police officers were standing by to ensure safety.”
This is a troubling misrepresentation of the situation. We were not “held back” by a metal barrier. We (hardly just students, by the way!) were standing quietly on one side of the entrance for obvious logistical reasons. There was nothing to be “held back” from, as we weren’t trying to get anywhere!
The only risk to safety was the oppressive and threatening presence of so many police – and yes, police are oppressive and threatening, especially when you’re queer or otherwise marginalized (or a “protestor”).
The barrier and police were entirely unnecessary – and sent a message that the university is only comfortable with support for the queer community within a restricted area.
People don’t need protection from queer folks and their allies. In fact, we were there to protect the LGBTQ community from the symbolic violence of honouring someone who uses his academic clout to spread views that lead to further violence against queer people. These views are the direct cause of gay-bashing and the restriction of civil rights.
Finally, Rice’s comments about the protest illustrate how much disparagement he does have for the queer community: calling people “tenacious” for their strength in fighting back against the oppression he is enacting upon them is patronizing and insulting.