Creep of the Week: Pride Protesters

One person is holding an anti LGBTQ people and another person has a sign that points at the first person and it says "Never misses a gay event"
Creep of the Week: Pride Protesters (Photo of TFS President Sue. Image by Ed Hahn)

Clearly voters are tired of the bigoted politics of Shawn Thierry

It’s LGBTQ Pride Month! Cue the rainbow flags, the Pride parades, the guy in the neon green Speedo wearing a leather dog mask, the lesbians with the toddler wearing a “I <3 My Moms” t-shirt, the teens wearing trans Pride flags as capes, the drag queen looking fabulous despite the heat, the protesters…

Ugh. The protesters.

There’s no escaping the fact that Pride Month (or Pride at any time, really) makes right-wingers very aggressive. They begin to froth at the mouth, desperate to spread the disease living in their saliva by biting anyone and everyone.

Ah, wait, that’s rabies. Well, a valid comparison regardless.

But let’s focus on a few positive things first.

President Joe Biden officially proclaimed June 2024 to be Pride Month, something that is not going to happen with a Republican in the White House. But what’s an official proclamation, anyway, besides a very public and worldwide display of support for LGBTQ people by the United States’ most powerful person?

Seriously, though. It’s a BFD. The President making LGBTQ people visible is very meaningful at a time when Republicans are feverishly trying to erase us. Living in the shadows is no life at all. I mean, there’s a reason people avoid walking down dark alleys at night. Bad things can happen there, and no one would ever know.

“I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQI+ community,” Biden said in his proclamation speech, “to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of Pride high.”

You heard the man! Wave away!

Meanwhile, in Texas, a state that is known for its hostility toward LGBTQ people, a Democrat who voted with Republicans to ban gender-affirming care lost her reelection bid to a Black queer woman.

we need more people to do exactly what Simmons did: Run for office.

“Lauren Ashley Simmons beat Rep. Shawn Thierry in the Tuesday runoff by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent to win the Democratic nomination in Texas House District 146, located in Houston,” The Advocate reports. “The district is heavily Democratic, so Simmons is favored to win the general election in November over Republican Lance York.”

65 percent to 35 percent is no joke. Voters turned out hard to oust Thierry, who joined the Republicans in a number of anti-LGBTQ votes
“Thierry also broke ranks from her party to support a GOP bill aimed at removing sexually explicit books from school libraries, a designation critics feared would be used to target LGBTQ+ literature,” The Texas Tribune reports. “She also voted for a bill requiring transgender college athletes to play on teams that align with their sex assigned at birth.”

Not a great look!

“Clearly voters are tired of the bigoted politics of Shawn Thierry, who has betrayed her constituents so she could carry water for the worst politicians in Austin,” said former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, in a statement. The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund backed Simmons. “I couldn’t be more proud of Lauren, the campaign she ran and the fierceness she’ll bring to the Texas House, where she’ll proudly fight to make Houston a more welcoming place for everyone,” Parker said.

And it will be quite a fight. Texas is a majority Republican state, and Gov. Greg Abbott is happy to sign any and every bill intended to harm LGBTQ Texans and make them more invisible. That’s why Texas needs leaders like Simmons.

“I’m not a politician. It’s not something I ever really envisioned myself doing,” Simmons told Houston Public Media. “But once I wrapped my head around what was at stake and what was really important, I decided to go for it. I’m glad that the results turned out the way they did because they let me know that I wasn’t alone in my thinking, and I wasn’t alone in my dissatisfaction, and we were ready for change.”

And we need more people to do exactly what Simmons did: Run for office.

Especially for school board. Because school boards around the country can make the difference between whether LGBTQ students are loved and supported or whether LGBTQ students’ lives are living hells.

The saying “Be the change” has become kind of cliche, but it is still true. Things don’t get better when good people stand aside. Things only get better when good people stand up.