How anti-LGBTQ sentiment is affecting Pride

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05/28/2023

Repressive social backlash and extreme anti-LGBTQ sentiment are complicating Pride celebrations in the US this year, even potentially inciting violence against queer people and gatherings meant to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Though LGBTQ people and by extension Pride have won important rights and gained fairly widespread acceptance in US political and social life in recent decades, right-wing politicians, religious leaders, and talking heads are creating a renewed environment of animosity and uneasiness for queer people throughout the country. In Los Angeles, an ostensibly liberal city with a large LGBTQ community, the Los Angeles Dodgers disinvited — and then re-invited — the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to a June 16 event honoring the group for its activism after complaints from conservatives. The SPI is an activist group and nonprofit that accepts members of all identities and backgrounds to raise money for LGBTQ causes. In Florida, the cities of Port St. Lucie and St. Cloud canceled Pride events due to uneasiness and fear in the wake of anti-LGBTQ bills signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In Fayetteville, Arkansas’ queer mecca, Northwest Arkansas Equality canceled events at the Walton Arts Center due to its ban on drag performances in front of minors.

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