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By Ben Chapman
As we approach the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, many of us, gay or straight are reminded of where we were when we heard the news about this terrible tragedy. This day was supposed to be a very special day for me, as it is my birthday. I went to sleep the night before knowing that that Sunday, I would wake up feeling wonderful, soon to be surrounded by loved ones who mean so much to me. Instead, I woke up to the news of a horrible story of a shooting America would never forget. Gunman Omar Mateen had opened fire inside Pulse with a semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock pistol, killing 49 people and injuring 68 others. It became one of the deadliest attacks in U.S. history. Now, this year’s anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, also happens to land on Pride weekend, here in Los Angeles, California. June is also known by many as, “Pride month,” in which many LGBT pride events are held.
‘Gay Pride’ originally started as a way to show unity between gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and their straight allies after the ‘Stonewall’ riots. On the early morning of Saturday June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and “questioning persons” rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar which catered to an assortment of patrons, but which was popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community. The first pride parade took place soon after in New York on Sunday, June 28, 1970.
…Times, however, how they’ve changed; what was once a movement for unity and acceptance in our great country has turned mostly into corporate sponsor-run booths and hatefulness. Since the Pulse shooting, what should have been a reminder to all who organize and/or attend pride events, many people who think differently, be it politically or otherwise from these pride organizers, are shunned and not permitted to attend these so-called “inclusive” events. Just two weeks after the Pulse shooting, at a New York Pride, marchers were seen holding a “Republican Hate Kills” banner.
Three days ago, at a gay Pride event in North Carolina, gay Trump supporters were denied entry into the Charlotte Pride Parade for simply being a Donald Trump supporter. “I’m very proud of my country, proud of my president, and was once proud of my community,” said Brian Talbert of deplorablepride.org, who also said he’s proud to be gay and proud to be a Trump supporter. When I contacted Talbert, he told me the theme of their float was going to be “Gays for Trump.” (No affiliation with the ‘Gays for Trump’ organization)
Here in California, what would have been the annual Los Angeles Pride weekend, consisting of colorful floats down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, is instead being replaced with a “Resist” protest march, a call for “people moving through the streets” marching for human rights. Brian Pendleton, a board member for Christopher Street West said, “We’re getting back to our roots,” Pendleton said. “We will be resisting forces that want to roll back our rights, and politicians who want to make us second-class citizens.” On the official L.A. Pride website, they state that the ‘Resist March’ is “not a democratic or republican march.” …yet they conveniently will have Democrats, according to event organizers, including U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) speaking at the end of the march.
As if these “Pride” parades haven’t become a big enough joke, having little to nothing to do with real unity and acceptance for which they began, in support of people who are portrayed as different; now mixed with liberal hypocrisy and “H8” aimed at the wrong people: Conservatives, and the Trump administration.
Where were the “Resist” marches when President-elect, Barack Obama was elected in 2008, after publicly supporting traditional marriage throughout his campaign? Moreover, where were the “Resist” marches in his entire 8 year term, when he failed to acknowledge countries that would publicly kill gay people, throwing them off of buildings for simply being gay? Yes, I mean calling them what they are, radical Islamic terrorists, those, our buddies on the left hesitantly call out for fear that [they] would be deemed heartless.
This so-called “Resist” march is nothing more than a “woe-is-me, I’m so oppressed!” way for gay liberals and their supporters to throw a tantrum against one of the most pro-gay friendly Presidents to ever be elected in the history of our country, because he is a Republican. This is the kind of ignorance that only provokes WHY there are Republicans and conservatives who grow to dislike gay people and their straight allies who tout this same ridiculous rhetoric of “accept or you’re homophobic!” This kind of hatred and narrow-minded bigotry from the gay-Left is both unnecessary and uncalled for, and it only solidifies my reasoning for distancing myself from too many hypocrites who speak of hatred and bigotry in [others] in the political spectrum while remaining silent when it comes from their own side. More Democrats need to speak out and call out their own. Many of us on the Right have openly called out our fellow conservatives on [legitimate] acts of hatred or bigotry; it’s time those on the Left do the same. Have your protests. Have your marches. But please don’t pretend to have them in the name of inclusion or equality, because they are not.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the lives affected by the Pulse shooting one year ago. I can only hope that this tragedy someday becomes a true eye-opener for the gay community, in search for what it truly means to have unity once again.