MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Cooper Young in Midtown was extra colorful Friday night as members of the LGTBQ+ community and their supporters marched through the community to send a very important message.
The march comes one week after a drag show at the Museum of Science and History was canceled due to armed protestors.
“We’re here today to let hateful people know we won’t be scared and intimidated in expressing ourselves wherever we feel or deem appropriate,” said event organizer Amaranthus Hyden.
Hyden says what happened last weekend certainly is not appropriate.
“It is not a far stretch and it is not illogical to call this an act of terrorism,” Hyden said. “It was organized, it was dangerous. This is terrorism, and I want people to understand that.”
The Museum of Science and History made the decision to cancel a family-friendly drag show last Friday night after armed protesters, allegedly members of the Proud Boys, showed up outside with guns.
No one was injured, and no arrests were made. But members of the LGBTQ+ community are upset the police didn’t step in to take action.
“We want our voices heard, and we want the City of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department to know that we need assurance from them that this will not happen again and that they will protect our community,” said organizer Jenna Dunn.
They say they’re still terrified after the aggressive encounter, but also outraged.
“I first and foremost wish that they could find a way to let down some of their hate, because if they knew how loving and compassionate and beautiful our community was, maybe they wouldn’t be so angry,” Dunn said.
They say the idea is to meet hatred with love by coming together to show they cannot be silenced.
“If you look across history, every couple of generations, we have to fight a fight like this,” said drag queen Moth Moth. “Now it’s up to me, and Amaranthus, and Jenna Aubrey Boom Boom, and every other beautiful soul in this city to pick up the fight and continue to defend what our right has always been. Which is just to be amongst each other looking beautiful, treating each other beautifully, and sharing our culture.”
In a statement from the Memphis Police Department, they say no laws were violated, so no arrests were made.
Organizers of this evening’s event say they hope to take this to the FBI and urge people to contact their local agents.