Everyone knows that certain subgroups of people in our state face discrimination and exclusion based simply on their identity. The truth is, many Oklahomans still form their opinions of others based off of stereotypes. This can make it difficult for these marginalized people to fit into Oklahoma society, especially if that stereotype says they are a bigoted, back-asswards, nut cases hell-bent using their religion as an excuse to discriminate against people.
According to News 9, the gays may be discriminating against Republicans for a change.
The OKC pride parade will march down North Classen June 24. It’s a celebration of inclusion. But Oklahoma County Republicans are told, they won’t be included.
“It’s sad,” said Oklahoma County Republican Party Chair Daren Ward. “I mean especially from that community.”
Oklahoma County Republicans say they wanted to march in the parade to celebrate some of their gay members.
“And then the next thing I heard is no and then we’re full and then I guess a big Facebook discussion blow up and here we are,” Ward said.
I mean, if it were true that OKC Pride was not welcoming the Oklahoma GOP to the parade, I wouldn’t necessarily blame them. Our Republican controlled state has put through so many anti-LGBTQIA+ bills that it’s beginning to feel like lawmakers are personally writing a custom law for every new Oklahoma kid who comes out as gay. But here’s the thing: what Ward is saying is more misleading than true. In reality, it’s less of a “blow up” and more of a procrastination problem.
Let’s take a look at the “big Facebook discussion” for ourselves…
HOW DARE THEY ONLY HAVE LIMITED SPACE, VOLUNTEERS, AND RESOURCES. It doesn’t matter that both “Democrats and other non-profit organizations” were also left out of the parade. What matters is that the Republicans didn’t get what they wanted, which I guess is a rarity in Oklahoma.
OKC Pride said it’s nothing personal, there just isn’t enough room. But they say there are safety concerns too.
“I found out we were full,” said Lori Honeycutt, President of OKC Pride. “So really anything other than that it was and then some security risks came up. And I understand those tempers and emotions.”
“There’s no reason in fighting and hating each other about it,” said Ward. “We wanted to reach out to them because they felt that the Republicans at 23rd and Lincoln have done them injustice this year.”
This News 9 article is beginning to seem more like a sympathy card to the GOP’s hurt feelings than an actual news report. Look, I think it’s great that some members of the GOP actually want to support the LGBTQIA+ community in the parade and thus don’t have their heads up their keisters as far as one would expect. But the Facebook post states that the Oklahoma GOP can still set up a booth or volunteer at the celebration. I know it’s not as hella tight as a rainbow float and all, but they are still included.
Oklahoma County Republicans say after the angry phone calls and e-mails they’ve gotten from the LGBTQ community, they’ll steer clear of the parade this year, but they would like to march next year.
It breaks my heart to see them left out of the party. If only those people celebrating in the parade knew what it meant to be discriminated against, disenfranchised, marginalized, and flat out harassed for being open with their identity, maybe they would have been more welcoming to the republicans.
See ya’ll at the pride parade. I have a sweet necklace to wear. Follow Hayley on twitter @squirrellygeek