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PRIDE Is Everywhere! – Boise, Idaho Pride Draws Thousands, Gets Back To The Roots Of PRIDE

Everyone knows about the “fabulously famous” Pride Parades.  New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles.  But rarely you hear about the smaller Pride Parades and events of smaller Midwestern and Southern cities which are just as important.  They may not have the grandiose floats, baton twirling gay marching bands or speedo clad go-go boys grinding away.  But they do get back to the roots of Pride.   Visibility, politics, and standing up for who you are.

Yesterday to culminate Boise Pride Week a massive rally took place on the Idaho State Capitol steps where hundreds gathered to hear from speakers on the importance of staying vigilant in the face of discrimination for gender identity of sexual orientation.

Congressional candidate Nicole LeFavour asked the audience if they voted and encouraged them to register and get out early and often.  The crowd cheered the openly gay lawmaker and then began the  Pride March which along its route to Ann Morrison park across the river drew thousands of marchers and spectators.

The event came off peaceably with no visible protests but that doesn’t mean that all in Boise, Idaho were happy about it.

But that didn’t stop negative comments on Boise Weekly online:

I happened by Ann Morrison Park in downtown Boise yesterday ( I don’t live far from there, and pass by frequently)…

There was a quite large (noisy, exuberant) celebration going on. What they were celebrating (which I found out as I approached the general area) was the existence and promulgation of a list of various human perversities and interpersonal moral degeneracies. Musical bands and singers on stage, many food booths, “security” police, all the usual for a large gathering in the public park… It was being conducted under the aegis of “rainbow” this, and “diversity” that, but what it was really about was some kind of public extolling of a wide range of sexual perversities and abnormal human degeneracies.

Is THIS what you want happening in our (YOUR) city??? What you want celebrated here? What you want your parks used for?

But our voices and PRIDE were heard even online as Kay Wyman, replied:

As I walked in the Parade in downtown Boise on Saturday I felt an immense sense of PRIDE in my little city.  Finally, the LGBTQ community could openly celebrate without a sense of threat and discrimination.  There were no (obvious) protesters as were present in many of the past parades.  I thought, “Wow”, times really are changing for us, even in Boise, Idaho.”  People we passed waved and shouted support.  Some seemed a little surprised by our flamboyance, for sure, but I didn’t hear any ugly comments from the crowd.  If anything, they seemed mostly entertained. 

As for the comments above, I am really sorry that these people feel threatened by our lifestyle.  Perhaps if we hadn’t been locked up in the closet for so long we wouldn’t feel the need to come busting out quite so loudly.  I hope they noticed that we were fenced in at the park, as much to protect the community from us, I think, as to protect us from the community at large. And yes, there was security.  For the most part we are a gentle people, happy and gay, but sometimes an outsider will enter our midst and stir up trouble.  We are not the people who steal your childrens bikes, or break into your houses,  rape your women, or shoot your sons.  But we are citizens, we do pay taxes, we do contribute to this community as much as anyone else, and we do have a RIGHT to use Ann Morrison park for our celebration.  So, if you are worried about your children seeing us, or about losing your close-minded, white breaded little bubble of bigoted, backwards Utopia, then STAY AWAY from our fence, because we ARE NOT going back in the closet. 

Oh, and by the way, I am a 4th generation Idahoan, and I am not proud of people like you who have given Boise and Idaho a reputation for being bigoted.

Major props to Boise, Idaho and to all Midwestern and Southern Pride events everywhere.

The same sex marriage fight and LGBT acceptance in the easy states of the upper eastern seaboard and California is almost done.

Pennsylvania, Midwest and the South is where the hardest and final push LGBT equality is going to take place and we must get ready for the fight, and we must start now.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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