Boston Straight Pride held its first event Saturday with only about 100 to 200 attendees participating according to reports. Unshockingly, among those that attended were people affiliated with the alt-right like Milo Yiannopoulus, as well as Trump supporters who built a “Trump Unity Bridge” as a float. Those participating were massively outnumbered by protestors.
A group of protesters of the event gathered at City Hall Plaza and another group gathered at Copley Square, where the march ended. The route mirrored that of Boston Pride.
The Straight Pride Coalition prides itself on “protecting traditional gender roles, Christianity, heterosexuality, Western Civilization, and Caucasians” who they say are, “the biological majority of the historical developers and founders of Western Civilization,” according to the group’s website. One float in the parade which was made to be a “Trump Unity Bridge” and featured “2020 Trump” and “Build the Wall” signs. Elsewhere attendees carried “Make Normalcy Normal Again” signs and others turned up wearing clown gear — cue the circus music.
According to the Independent the group is also heavily linked to alt-right movements such as Resist Marxism, which markets itself as a harmless conversative group but has links to several alt-right organizations.
In contrast, protestors included queer people, allies, and a number of anti-fascist demonstrators.
"We're here to celebrate our community. We're here to show up in the face of hate with love and joy," one protester told CBS Boston. "We should celebrate our differences and celebrate the ways in which people from all backgrounds have contributed to this country."
Chants from the protestors massively drowned out those of the parade. “Bottoms and tops, we all hate cops,” they yelled at one point.
As the event went on a number of Boston police, as well as state law enforcement officers, some in riot gear, became involved. Some on social media reported that at least six people were arrested, and pepper spray as well as batons were used on the protestors. At one point, officers used motorcycles to get pedestrians to disperse.
MassEquality, a Boston-based group that supports LGBTQ+ rights in Massachusetts, released a statement denouncing the march, saying that they “works to ensure that everyone in the Commonwealth can thrive without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
We absolutely reject the idea – prominently featured on the Parade organizers’ website — that straight people are oppressed. Straight people’s rights are not diminished when society makes room for LGBTQ people. There is space at the table for all of us. MassEquality supports a vision where we live together in peace,” the group said.
Boston officials granted a permit for the Straight Pride Parade in late June, saying that they cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s value.
"The Boston Police Department expects all who will be attending events to act respectfully and responsibly," officials wrote. "The Department intends to provide a safe and peaceful opportunity for people to exercise their Constitutional rights. Violence or property damage of any kind will not be tolerated. Anyone engaging in illegal behavior is subject to arrest and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law."