Hey y’all, we want to apologize for our prior decision to hire HSI for security at the Community Pride Festival. Earlier today, we found out that Highland Security & Investigations, the Black trans-run security firm that we had intended to hire for the Community Pride Festival on Saturday, has collaborated with ICE and utilizes current and former police officers. We don’t want to make attendees feel unsafe with their presence, nor do we personally want to support a group who works with police or has been contracted by ICE because that puts us and our communities in danger. We’re not here to uphold oppressive bullshit, so we have made the decision to not hire HSI in order to hold true to our commitment that we would not invite police officers or agents of state violence to Community Pride. We hadn’t properly vetted the security firm because we mistakenly assumed that a Black trans-led security firm wouldn’t be so intimately involved in state-sanctioned violence.
Instead, we are putting together a community-based safety team to keep us safe at the festival. We have found experienced people who are able to train folks in self-defense and de-escalation. We’ve already started to gather a safety team and are now looking for more volunteers who can be on the team during the festival this Saturday. We will compensate people on the safety team with the funds that were originally reserved for festival security. If you are interested and able to be on this team, please DM us with your phone number to be added to a Signal chat.
We apologize for our misstep, and we wanna thank everybody who brought HSI’s involvement with the police and ICE to our attention, especially those who did so respectfully. We take y’all’s concerns very seriously, and will honor the voices of our communities. With that said, we aren’t going to tolerate hateful speech as part of anyone’s concerns, like the transphobic and homophobic speech directed towards one of our core members on an earlier post.
We’re trying our best to organize a safe space for QTIPOC with Community Pride. We take responsibility for our actions and are working quickly to resolve these issues so that everyone can feel safe at Community Pride.