Aurora Pride will welcome all, including police officers in 2021 event

Aurora Pride will welcome any and all to its 2021 event, taking place Aug. 7.

PrideFest in Denver and many other LGBTQ Pride events across the country have recently excluded uniformed law enforcement from participating.

“We understand and support POC members of our community advocating for police reform, and that experiences of harm from police violence have led them to advocate for police not being at Pride,” the event’s planners said in a news release. “We are committed to working for accountability so that Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+ police can build a more equitable community together. We look forward to further dialog to make that possibility a reality.”

Lt. Chris Amsler of the Aurora Police Department, a gay man who has marched in PrideFest, was disappointed to learn he would be unwelcome at the Denver event.

“The police have a horrible history with marginalized communities, and there is a history of police treating the LGBTQ community very poorly in the past,” he said. “But excluding us from being involved with a celebration of pride in our community. How is that making things any better? How is that bridging that gap? How is taking away the opportunity for us to interact with people who have fears beneficial positively? How can we improve community relations if we are being excluded from the community that is fearful of us?”

Aurora has several LGBTQ community members that are high ranking on their law enforcement team.

“Aurora Pride actually reached out and said that they’re excited to work closely with us and that we’re welcome at Aurora Pride this year,” Amsler said. “Definitely, my LGBTQ colleagues will have an opportunity to be able to celebrate with our community.”

Aurora Pride is hosted at Aurora Reservoir and will include a self-isolating and in-person option for their celebration.

“Aurora Pride believes in supporting all organizations doing great work within our communities, and we also believe that support fundamentally happens when we are inclusive and not exclusive–by bringing people together and not pushing them apart,” the news release said. “In the spirit of being in community together, Aurora Pride will not exclude any person or organization from any of its LGBTQ+ events.”

OutFront Magazine runs the Aurora’s Pride event.

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