On July 23, 2018, a Gay Pride Rally was announced to take place at the same time and location as an I Stand for Trump, MAGA political rally, proposed for Saturday, July 28. The person who contacted the Loveland leader in news, the Reporter-Herald, did not provide any identifying information other than a fake name, and did not name the organization he represents; there was no return contact when NoCoSafeSpace owner reached out via email.
NoCoSafeSpace has been connecting local LGBTQIA+ community members to resources and providing Inclusivity training in Northern Colorado for a few years now, they had not heard of the event. Further research leads local community leaders to believe the announcement was a prank sent by an individual who is associated with the political rally or the new WalkAway campaign designed to “convert” democratic voters towards an independent stance. The political event taking place posted in their Facebook event that Gay Pride flags are not allowed as part of their messaging, and encourages individuals to properly conceal their registered firearms.
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are encouraged NOT to attend the newly announced Pride Rally, unless they are personally politically aligned with the other rally in that space.
“This sort of prank is extremely dangerous toward any marginalized community, especially the LGBTQIA+ community members of Loveland who are limited on resources and live in a less-than-accepting home community,” Kimberly Chambers, owner of NoCoSafeSpace explains. “This type of hoax may have been used to lure queer folks to a pridefest type of space where they would feel safe to express their diverse identities, when realistically they may be entering into a very dangerous situation with individuals who may not openly support the LGBTQIA+ community and will be already emotionally charged at their own rally.” Organizers of Pridefest activities typically permit their events, ensuring that the community members, both LGBTQIA+ and allies, are safe in the space and that it is reserved for only their activities. “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer folks, especially people of color, are murdered for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity every day in America, and the incidence of harassment, assault, and murder have grown since the election of an anti-LGBT President. Loveland is no different in its demographics than the places where this harassment and assault is taking place, and it’s the responsibility of local SafeSpace organizations to look critically at events that happen within our communities to make sure they are safe and fun for all in attendance, free of potential harassment, assault or worse,” states Chambers. Our local news media is charged with assuring that they report on things with a critical eye as well, assuring sources are credible and thinking logically as to if two competing events in the same place at the same time are good news or a community safety concern.
Some folks were really excited to hear of a pride-like event in Loveland, and so NoCoSafeSpace is partnering with Namaqua Unitarian Universalists, YouthSeen, and SPLASH LGBTQIA+ Youth of Northern Colorado to provide the LGBTQ+ community with an actual safe event that will take place in Loveland on August 12, 2018. The community gathering will connect local individuals with resources and community. More details can be found on the web at: www.NoCoSafeSpace.com/loveland