A trans woman faces multiple charges after police said she tried to light an American flag on fire during the 30th annual Philly Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday.
Ryan Segin – dressed in a black hoodie, black lip-print bandana covering her face, and a beanie that read “lawless” – was arrested around noon, shortly before the beginning of the Philadelphia Pride Parade. Numerous spectators snapped pictures and recorded the incident at the corner of 12th and Locust streets, where police contend Segin attempted to light a “thin blue line” American flag on fire in the crowd, WPVI reports.
“The lady was about to burn a flag in the middle of a crowded area, so the cops had to detain her,” a witness told the television station. Police also confiscated the flag, as well as a container of flammable paint stripper.
— Bastiaan Slabbers (@BasSlabbers) June 10, 2018
Police report Segin is an 18-years-old from Woodbine, New Jersey though court records indicate she’s 20 years old, according to the Philly Voice.
Regardless, she did not appear amused in her mugshot, which featured a mean scowl, bright pink hair, and no eyebrows. Segin faces charges of attempt to commit arson, risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person and other offenses, the Philadelphia Enquirer reports.
And while fellow parade goers in the news video and pictures applauded Segin’s arrest – several shouting thanks to the arresting officers – the ordeal is causing heartburn within the local LBGTQ movement and online.
The thin blue line American flag is also described as the “Blue Lives Matter” flag, and it features a blue stripe on a black and white American flag in support of law enforcement officers who gave their lives to protect their communities.
“A trans woman was arrested at Philly Pride for burning a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag, and no one is talking about it,” Anna Moone posted to Twitter. “All the bougie white Cis gays are out dancing with cops while a trans woman is sitting in jail. Happy ******* pride.”
Philly Socialists posted to Facebook:
This is awful that a trans person would be forcibly removed from Pride and that they used state sanctioned violence to do so. It just goes to show who these pride events are really for. Help a comrade if you’re able to! Queer revolution, not rainbow capitalism!
Philly Socialists went into hyper drive to organize a vigil at the jail for their fallen “comrade” and raised money online to post her bail. The group had raised over $1,800 by Monday, more than three times Segin’s $500 bail.
The extra “will most likely go to her housing and court fees (for) any charges once she’s released,” according to Philly Socialists.
The group is now reaching out to people who find the flag burner a place to live.
“She also may be getting kicked out of her house after this because she was living with a parent,” Philly Socialists posted. “Trans homelessness is real as f**k. Please offer a safe place to crash at least for a night if you have one.”
Scores of socialists, meanwhile, continue to camp out in front of the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia to call for justice for Segin.
Philly Socialists are asking anyone who wants to bring speakers, blankets, food and drinks to stop out to the prison.