Characterizing the signs three women carried at Baltimore Pride as “hate speech” and “transphobia” is inaccurate and irresponsible. While there’s no single, agreed-upon definition of what constitutes “hate speech,” statements such as “dykes don’t like dick,” “lesbian not queer,” and “woman is not a feeling” don’t even come close to that standard. These are not targeted statements regarding any group or class of persons, they’re not reasonably interpreted as inciting violence, and they aren’t expressing any sort of hatred.
Also, they claim to “have identified the group responsible for inviting these individuals to march” … but actually they didn’t identify the group? What’s with that?
Are they actually saying they were unaware people would show up to the pride parade carrying signs expressing opinions about sexual orientation? Isn’t that … what a lot of people do at pride parades? Hm.
Most troubling, however, is the statement that they intend to identify “ways that we can quickly extract any individuals who attempt to disrupt Pride, should they infiltrate our celebrations in future.” Partially because it’s a terribly constructed sentence, but mostly because it’s complete garbage. These women didn’t “disrupt” or “infiltrate” the parade. The parade continued without interruption or incident, except that after it was over some people took to the internet to complain about the women who dared to express opinions they didn’t like. Also, they admit the women were invited, so obviously there was no infiltration. Who gets to decide which individuals need to be “extract[ed]” from the event? What kind of fascist garbage is that? And are they suggesting that if women carry signs expressing, for example, their sexual orientation as “lesbian not queer” at future pride parades they will be forcibly removed from an event advertised as “a safe space for people of all … sexual orientations” that takes place in public? Really?
In 2018, Baltimore Pride is no longer about celebrating “the freedom of all people to proudly express their sexual and gender identities.” It appears to be about punishing women who dare to express their ideas in public.
Here are the people responsible for this garbage statement:
GLCCB Board of Directors: Merrick Moses, Emma Mays, Kayla Tullis, David Sugar, April Rancier, and Chris Weis.
Baltimore Pride Committee: Mimi Demmisew, Lakesha Davis, Monte Ephraim, Tanisha Jackson, Aisha Jackson, Chris Weis, Alexander Li, Carly Saunders, Raychyl Am Segovia, Kate Bowers, Liezell Bradshaw, Bill Redmond-Palmer, Lynora Lawless, Leila Younes, Jake Quimby, D’Arcy Rossiter, Chonda Bond, David Sugar, Shelese Greene