The Pink Panthers
The Pink Panthers name has been used for several different LGBT rights organizations in North America since the 1970s.
The most recent incarnations include:
- A small organization that does fundraisers to promote gay rights organizations
- A militant gay rights collective in Montreal, Quebec
- A militant gay rights organization active in Colorado and Wyoming
Pink Panthers Patrol
The Pink Panthers Patrol (often shortened to Pink Panthers) were a civilian patrol group based in New York City, founded by members of Queer Nation in the summer of 1990 in order to combat anti-LGBTQ violence in Manhattan's West Village. They received notoriety when they were successfully sued in 1991 by MGM Pictures, the owner of the rights the Pink Panther cartoon. The neighborhood watch group would patrol areas that had a large number of gang assaults on homosexual men. In NYC, where the Pink Panthers was founded these patrols would generally be in the East and West Village. There was a number of patrols in the rambles (Central Park).
Pink Panthers Movement
According to their official page, The Pink Panthers Movement (shortened to the Pink Panthers or the PPM) is "an LGBTQ non-profit Civil Rights Movement and Activist Group to protect the interests and rights of all LGBTQ youth and adults from defamation [...] some would even call us a radical queer activist group." The organization also claims that they want to "eradicate" such things as "homophobia, gender profiling, [and the] patriarchy" and states that "[LGBTQ people] shouldn't have to be tolerated, we should be treated with equality, dignity and love."
Todd Alan Haley II, the President and Chairman of the PPM, launched the movement's official website and Facebook page with the help of various activists and LGBTQ civil rights organizations across the USA. He has been a supporter of Queer Nation, The Pink Panthers Patrol, ACT UP, and the Lesbian Avengers and is the Queer Nation chapter leader in Denver, Colorado which has led many aggressive tactics towards anti-gay legislation and institutions in and around Colorado and Wyoming. The new venture is unrelated to The Pink Panthers Patrol neighborhood watch in New York City. Haley is using the logo design of the original LGBTQ activist organization in order to preserve the legacy of the original Pink Panthers Patrol (an organization based in New York City during the 1970s that aimed to combat defamation and violence towards LGBT people, which was disbanded due to legal pressures from MGM Studios).
Todd Haley II did not want the movement to just be about the rights of LGBTQ peoples; he also saw a need to engage with several feminist groups around the USA. An avid feminist himself, he "felt the need to reach out to women and the feminist movement who have also clearly been suffering under the oppression of the extreme Religious Right and Conservative-sectored government", according to the organization's official website. The organization's official Facebook page states that they are "strictly a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Movement" and that "We will defend, at all costs, not only the rights within our own LGBTQ community, but the rights of the Feminist Movement." The Pink Panthers Movement holds true that they are in fact a non-violent, politically driven, movement where only a select few can now become active members. The movement's slogans created by Haley are, "Be a voice in the community ... not an echo!" and "Curb your homophobia, we bite back!"
As with any invocation of Black politics, sociologists and critical race theorists caution against the co-optation of Black Power and Black symbolism. The main argument is that modeling after Black activism implicitly reduces the struggles and interests of the community.
- Hays, Constance. "Gay Patrol And MGM In a Battle Over Name". nytimes.com. The New York times. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Gay Group Can't Call Itself Pink Panthers". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "PPM: About Page". www.thepinkpanthersmovement.com. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Dancer, Soul. "Gay Soul Talk Interviews Todd Haley II, President and Chairman of The Pink Panthers Movement". huffingtonpost.com. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "PPM: Lead Activists". www.thepinkpanthersmovement.com. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "The LGBT Pink Panthers Movement". facebook.com. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Chenier, Elise. "The Trouble with Invoking Jim Crow to Fight for LGBT Issues". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- lespantheresroses.org (French/ English site)