The president of San Francisco Pride’s board, Lisa Williams, pronounced the board’s decision to award Bradley Manning the position of honorary grand marshal at this year’s Pride as ‘an error’.
I helped set up Queer Friends of Bradley Manning in 2011 because, for me, Bradley epitomises what every good queer should be: someone who sees injustice and doesn’t sit quietly on their behind waiting for someone else to make things better; someone who, against all odds, stands up and fights for the wellbeing of others without concern for their own personal safety.
Where would the queer community be without people like Bradley? Where would San Francisco Pride be without people like Bradley? Indeed, where would Lisa Williams and her board be without people like Bradley?
When Lisa Williams said the board’s decision was ‘an error’, she was wrong. The decision to rescind Bradley’s place as honorary grand marshal was an insult, an insult to the queer community Bradley supported, an insult to Americans, the essence of which he epitomises absolutely; and finally, to Bradley himself, a modern day queer American hero who tried as best he could to try to make our pale blue dot a slightly nicer place on which to live knowing full well he faced a life in prison or possibly death.
Queer Friends of Bradley Manning is now campaigning to have Bradley Manning awarded the position of honorary grand marshall at London Pride 2013 so that we can pick up the torch that San Francisco Pride’s board so ignominiously dropped.
Oliver Shykles – Queer Friends of Bradley Manning