One Colorado Condemns Intimidation Tactics at Douglas County Pride
Denver, CO – One Colorado and Castle Rock Pride released the following statements regarding the intimidation tactics exercised by anti-LGBTQ+ groups at last weekend’s Douglas County PrideFest celebration in Castle Rock, CO:
“It is disheartening to witness any form of threats and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric at our community Pride events,” said Nadine Bridges, MSW (she, her, hers), One Colorado Executive Director. “Whether big or small, Pride is for all to gather and celebrate love, diversity, and the freedom to be our authentic selves. Let it be known that we will not be manipulated by intimidation. Our community is strong and beautiful, and we will continue to rise above prejudice and fear. I ask all Coloradans to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Coloradans and denounce hatred, and embrace love, joy, and acceptance.”
Meghan Zavadil, (she, her, hers) Castle Rock Pride Secretary, said:
“Castle Rock Pride, the organizers of Douglas County PrideFest, are proud to have offered our queer community a family friendly festival that celebrated the unique individual within each of us, yet heartbroken at the same time that our children and community experienced bigotry and hate firsthand at our event. This event is designed to create a safe and welcoming place for our community. Jimmy Graham and the men from Able Shepard disrupted and undermined that message. Additionally, a group that has been identified as part of Patriot Front, a white nationalist organization, attempted further disruption from the protest area.”
“We are thankful there was no physical violence, but make no mistake: children were harmed by this display of hate and bigotry. They were frightened and crying. Families were traumatized. People left fearing for their safety. We call out the hypocrisy of all those who have spent the last year spreading lies and accusations about the LGBTQIA+ community. Your rhetoric has opened the door for violent hate groups in Douglas County. You have put our law enforcement officers in harm’s way. Most importantly, you’ve harmed some of the children you claim to want to protect. Our children.”
“We thank those who have supported us and sent positive messages. We will not allow these groups or anyone else to step on our constitutional rights and deter us. We will see you at Pridefest 2024, because you belong here.”
On August 26th, opposition groups vandalized buildings and cars as well as demonstrated with shirts and signs with anti-LGBTQ+ language. According to one Douglas County PrideFest attendee: “Protestors entered the event, blocked aisles and blocked the stage for over 40 minutes. There were men in the parking lot harassing patrons, calling them names and making the Hail Hitler salute. There were slurs and comments made. One protester yelled at staff and then flipped them off. One of the protestors was escorted out for inciting violence and another was escorted out by one of his own co-protestors. Children were crying and I feared for the safety of everyone there. Thankfully there were no major injuries.”
One Colorado is the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) Coloradans and their families.
Castle Rock Pride is creating a supportive community for LGBTQIA+ residents of Douglas County and surrounding areas through community building, education, advocacy, and service.