'Proud Boys' Terrorizing Small Children Thwarted By Heroic 'Parasol Patrol'
When the Proud Boys aren't physically assaulting people; getting arrested; going to prison for physically assaulting people; crying about how unfair the world is to white men; getting beat up themselves while listing cereal varieties; or screaming about how white men did Western Civilization like they're Al Bundy recounting his high school football career, they like to take some time off to go scare innocent children trying to see a show or listen to a story at the library.
All this year, the Proud Boys have been showing up to the Family Friendly All-Ages Drag Show at Mile High Comics in Denver, Colorado, and yelling their homophobic nonsense at parents and kids who are just trying to have a nice day out. This isn't a new thing for them — the Proud Boys have been showing up to Drag Queen Story Hours and events like this one all over the country, like the paramilitary arm of the Westboro Baptist Church that they are.
However, supporters of the event have come up with a creative way to handle them, by organizing a "Parasol Patrol" to hold up large umbrellas, shielding the children from their violent rhetoric.
In a post on Facebook, Charles Rozanski, the owner of Mile High Comics, wrote:
While our Family Friendly All-Ages Drag Show was a wonderful success last evening, the 400+ attendees who wished to support our Community's youth once again had to traverse a gauntlet of 30+ vitriolic protestors who screamed at the top of their lungs that our allowing our young people to perform in a Family-friendly drag show constituted child abuse. Among the protestors this month were five or six helmeted individuals carrying shields who purported to be "Proud Boys." Their militaristic attire, and the masks and hoods of several other protestors, absolutely appeared to be threatening.
The good news is that Eli Bazan and Pasha Eve have organized a wonderful "Parasol Patrol" group that shields our attendees from much of the nastiness. Over 75 brave parents and other supporters showed up yesterday bearing colorful umbrellas, which they used to shield our visitors and performers from the noise and view of our protestors. As a result, everything was fine, except for a little added noise in our parking lot.
He also included several pictures of the protesters in their ridiculous military garb, as well as of the Parasol Patrol doing its thing.
Can you believe these fools? Showing up to a kids event wearing helmets and shields, like they're ready to get into some kind of brawl?
If you would like to join the "Parasol Patrol," please contact Eli or Pasha on FB. Only apply, however, if you can always maintain a sense of peaceful decorum, even under duress. We do not want anyone in our group to engage (or attack) the neo-Nazi, alt-Right, and Fundamentalist Christian protestors. As much as we may disagree with their nastiness and vile insults, their right to their opinion (and free expression thereof) is enshrined in our national Constitution. Simply put, we cannot seek to silence them without putting ourselves at risk for being silenced if we (at some point) express an equally unpopular opinion. That's how a free society works.
My only wish is that these noisy protestors would stop screaming about an event that they've never even seen, and instead take me up on my open invitation to watch one of our shows, free of charge. I do believe that when they saw for themselves the unbelievable joy on the faces of all the children at the show (both performers and in the audience) that their concerns might well be alleviated. Since that is probably not going to happen, however, all I can say is that we will continue indefinitely to stage our fabulous drag shows, and to support the youth of our Community, regardless of their opposition. Love is love ❤️
Personally, I think these events are absolutely fantastic. When I was in high school, the cool thing to do for Rochester-area teens to do on weekends was go to drag shows, partly because most of the the gay clubs in the city were all ages. Queens like Pandora Boxx of RuPaul's Drag Race, who is still one of my dearest friends, were our biggest local celebrities. This, I think, really contributed to an environment of acceptance in the area that wasn't necessarily the case in a lot of 1990s America.
The Proud Boys and the other alt-right groups that show up to these things like to claim that these events are "sexualizing" children, which really says more about them than it does about anyone organizing or attending them. Perhaps what truly scares them is that taking children to events like these could result in those children growing up to be well-adjusted, tolerant human beings who would never join an organization as pathetic as the Proud Boys.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse