Weather, Protesters Put Damper on Dallas Pride Kickoff

Merchandise at booth at Pride Month | Image by Carlos Turcios/The Dallas Express
Merchandise at booth at Pride Month | Image by Carlos Turcios/The Dallas Express

The beginning of Pride Month in Dallas was met with protesters and inclement weather at Fair Park on Saturday.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the City of Dallas planned to kick off Pride Month with an all-ages event that was slated to include drag performances and organizations that provide “trans services.”

“The Dallas Pride Music Festival will feature a variety of musical and dance performances on both the outdoor main stage and on an indoor community stage. More than 200 vendors will have booths to see and shop at the festival. … The festival also includes Teen Pride, which fosters a safe environment for LGBTQ+ youth ages 13 to 19 and their friends to enjoy live entertainment from artists and DJs, and other age-appropriate activities,” the Dallas Pride website reads.

DX observed several parents attending the event with their underage children, even as a number of vendors were selling sexually explicit merchandise.

The event had a booth that sold hand fans emblazoned with the phrases “MAKE ME C*M AGAIN,” “B****y,” “HE/HIM/HOLE,” “DADDY,” and “C**T.”

Another booth had magnets depicting bare female breasts and buttocks and the phrase “you’re bootyful.”

Another booth sold aprons depicting a seemingly naked man covering his genitals with a black hat.

Saturday’s festivities did not see an especially high turnout, and the event was temporarily paused in the afternoon due to an approaching thunderstorm.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the DFW has been reeling from a series of severe thunderstorms that resulted in flash flooding and multi-day power outages.

In addition to the bad weather, the festival was met with protesters affiliated with the Texas Coalition for Kids and the New Columbia Movement.

“It was disturbing to see how many families took their kids to today’s Pride festival. Dallas Pride needs to add an age restriction to all upcoming events. Children should never be allowed at LGBT Pride events,” Kelly Neidert, the president of Texas Coalition for Kids, told DX.

Andrew LaFuente, a member of the New Columbia Movement, said he sees such events as a sign of cultural decline.

“As Christians, we in the New Columbia Movement came today because we believe in the power of spiritual warfare, especially in the face of the cultural decline that has negatively impacted families. We believe in the power of prayer, especially that of the Holy Rosary, in order to convert hearts and combat the evils we see on the streets. A ‘family-friendly’ Pride festival is a clear example of a spiritual evil that must be opposed, or it will continue to corrupt generations of Americans,” LaFuente told DX.

Others feel differently, arguing that Pride events promote inclusivity. Dallas City Council Member Chad West (District 1) supports Pride events and believes it should be up to parents to decide whether to bring their kids.

“Pride events are important and very much welcome in Dallas. They provide safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate who they are, rather than hiding parts of themselves. I grew up in a part of the U.S. where there wasn’t a single openly gay person in my hometown,” West previously told DX.

“I defer to parents to determine appropriate venues and performances for their children to visit and support the First Amendment right of free speech, which includes most types of performances,” West said.

The Dallas Express reached out to Dallas Pride for comment regarding the event but did not receive a response by press time.

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