Kansas City Pride Organizers Respond to Gay Protests
It’s not out of the ordinary for conservative activists to protest gay pride events in any given city. But it’s rare to see what’s happening in Kansas City, Missouri – where this year’s Pride is being protested by GAY activists. Specifically, activists take issue with Pride’s choice of venue for its party event – the indoor/outdoor bar and entertainment complex known as the “Power and Light District.” Activist Gretchen Weiners is leading the campaign against the event. She says Power and Light has created an atmosphere that is racist, classist, homophobic and transphobic — from what she described as basically an anti-urban, “business casual” dress code — to a potential restroom situation during Pride.
Weiners: “They had said that there was one, maybe one “family” restroom that trans people could use, or that they could bring in a bunch of port-a-potties, and basically let all the freaks pee in one place.”
But Pride organizers see it another way. Rick Baumgardner is President of “Show Me Pride.” He says officials at Power and Light went to HIM and VOLUNTEERED to host a Pride event there – possibly in part, to reach out to a community who may have felt unwelcome there.
Baumgardner: “My social activism as the president of Pride says we got approval from a group for five hours to come down there and be accepted, be who we are, show the city that we’re there, participate well within the city, and just be there.”
As for the allegations of racism, Baumgardner says the Power and Light District also offered itself to the NAACP, which will be holding its annual convention there in July.