A Straight Pride event at Dallas City Hall plaza attracted three supporters on Saturday.
The march was hosted by the anti-LGBTQ group Protecting Our Next Generations (PONG). On its Facebook, the group promised the event would include discussions of abortion (“it is murder”), marriage values (“one man and one woman”) and genders (“there are only two”). An event flyer also posted on page reads that “we as Americans are allowing our values and morals to be compromised.”
"I knew that attendance would be low, but I couldn't stop laughing when I saw that it was just them," activist Soraya Colli told the Advocate.
Super Happy Fun America, the far-right group that organized the Boston Straight Pride Parade in August, had promised to send supporters to the event, according to the Dallas Voice.
But according to Colli, only two people showed up for much of the event. Both men were from Boston, the Dallas Voice reported; the local PONG member who organized the march was not present.
“The 2 [Super Happy Fun America] organizers were hilariously outnumbered by pro-LGBT & anti-fascist protestors - and about a dozen police,” Colli tweeted.
“Much later, they were joined by a member of the Dallas Proud Boys and a woman named Princess Vanna,” Colli tweeted — but Princess Vanna then reportedly “rebuked” the attendees, saying she’d misunderstood the purpose of the gathering.
"It would have been pathetic if it weren't so laughable — they really believe anti-fascists are out there throwing bricks and beating up Trump supporters, but instead it was LGBT allies with rubber chickens and cowbells to drown them out," Colli told the Advocate.
The paltry turnout may be attributed in part to PONG’s last-minute claims that the city was treating it unfairly by asking the group to pay for permit fees. On Thursday night, the group posted to Facebook that the parade would be “postponed” because “the city of Dallas price gouged us.”
However, the fee is standard for any group wanting to host such an event at the plaza, Colli pointed out. At the event, a trans activist and city attorney named Jayla Wilkerson informed two of the attendees as much. They were reportedly “shocked.”
"I know the costs and logistics in putting together an event of the size they expected," said Colli, who's helped organize the Dallas Women's March. "It's not cheap."
"I'm proud of the group that showed up to protest. I said we would give them a Dallas welcome, and we did," said Colli.
The Dallas Voice reported that one of the two men yelled insults at transgender protesters and claimed to be part of the “oppressed majority.”
“Should straight people have a right to Pride and a parade? Sure, I guess. But should we all exercise every right we have just because we have it? Absolutely not. And a straight Pride parade is certainly on the list of rights one ought not exercise, in my humble opinion,” wrote Wilkerson in an op-ed for the Dallas Voice earlier this month.
Wilkerson pointed out that straight people are unlikely to be fired from their jobs or rejected by their loved ones because of their sexuality.
Hundreds of marchers turned out for the Straight Pride march in Boston this summer, but they were far outnumbered by thousands of gathered counter-protesters.