FRISCO — Protesters faced off Sunday afternoon outside an “all-ages” Pride event at Toyota Stadium.
Residents from around the metroplex gathered at the second annual Pride Frisco Festival, which featured games, music, food and refreshments, LGBTQ resources, and vendors such as Kindom, Community, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Minor Threads, among others.
Many members of the local LGBTQ community gathered at the event, including young adults and children. Speakers at the event advocated for tolerance of and protections for children who identify as transgender.
The event was sponsored by multiple corporate entities, including Wells Fargo, FC Dallas, U.S. Renal Care, the North Texas Chamber of Commerce, and Texas Pride Impact Funds, among others.
Pride Frisco Festival began at 1 p.m. A couple of hours later, members of the local activist group Protect Texas Kids (PTK) arrived to protest the event, having announced it would be doing so in the days before.
PTK has been active in the metroplex, protesting events it considers inappropriate for children. The group faced off against counter-protestors at the Texas Latinx Pride Fest event at Reverchon Park in Dallas last month, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
By 3:57 p.m., four other protesters arrived waving the flag of the New Columbia Movement. They recited a prayer in Latin via loudspeaker. At the same time, some of the event attendees, including some veterans, formed a perimeter around the protesters, waving Pride flags and playing music from Disney movies.
Andrew Lafuente, one of the protesters, told The Dallas Express that he and the other protesters were practicing Catholics and were there to peacefully pray for those at the event. He said that he and the other protesters believed children should not be at the event.
“We don’t believe that what’s going on inside is morally appropriate for children,” said Lafuente.
He also said he and the other protesters hoped for the restoration of Christian values and that they were only there to protest peacefully without starting a conflict.
“We are just here to pray, we are not here to start anything aggressive or violent, unlike the other side who are screaming at us,” Lafuente told The Dallas Express. “We are here to lovingly pray.”
Lafuente also discussed the topic of drag shows, which have been a hot topic for groups like PTK, who think such shows should not be held in the presence of minors.
He called such performances misogynistic and a mockery of women.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, an attendee at a local drag show claimed that drag was not misogynistic.
“Whether that is by a woman or not by a woman, or someone in between, it’s still embodying what femininity is. So paying homage to that,” Haley Carruthers told The Dallas Express.
The Dallas Express reached out to event sponsors like FC Dallas and the North Texas Chamber of Commerce for comment but did not receive a response by press time.