Wausau, WI Gay Pride Parade Cancelled After City Backlash

WausauIt appears Wausau, Wisconsin will not be getting its first ever gay pride parade today as previously planned. Organizers for the parade have now canceled the event after what they say has been a backlash of bigotry from the Wausau community. Green Bay Press Gazette reports

Daxx Bouvier had planned to hold a gay pride parade at 3 p.m Saturday, but he decided this week to cancel the event in the wake of negative response from a Wausau City Council member and in articles from several local media sources.

Bouvier, who lives in California but owns a home in Wausau, also said people who had planned to participate in the parade told him they were concerned for their safety, so he decided to call it quits.

"I do feel a great sense of loss for the LGBT community," he said. "Canceling the parade has set Wausau back 30 years in the way people think about the gay community."

Previously, we reported that Wausau City Council member Dave Nutting told residents at a council meeting last week to physically turn their backs on the 'deviant-behaving individuals' in the parade. Wisconsin hate group Wisconsin Family Action also instructed its members to call the City Council and mayor to express opposition to the parade.

Questions about the original organizers' commitments and abilities led members of the gay community to create a separate event, a March for Equality, to take place at the same time as the canceled parade. The March for Equality supposedly has more than 300 people committed to participating in the event. 

Comments

  1. Leo says

    Concerned for their safety? In 2013? In broad daylight? This pisses me off. If they’re using public streets isn’t there a required police presence for at least directing traffic?

    Is Wassau rural? How the hell is this happening? I’d get a plane ticket to participate in the March if I wasn’t broke at the moment, honestly.

  2. Jude says

    Well, now that I see the bigoted City Council member’s name is “Dave Nutting”, it all makes sense.

  3. AJ says

    This is not true. The parade was cancelled because its organizer is a con man who managed to trick everyone in the city and then some. He has no money and thats the issue. He is a dangerous person and should be avoided at all costs.

  4. Jeremy says

    I live in southeast Wisconsin. I travel “up north” every month and it’s like going back a couple decades in peoples’ behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs the further north you go. Honestly not surprised people would have an issue up there. Safety could be an issue because of all the surrounding rural towns and many people with allowed concealed weapons.

  5. Lonewolfen says

    The fearful are running out of crevices to hide in, and a snowball only rolls downhill.

  6. Lonewolfen says

    The fearful are running out of crevices to hide in, and a snowball only rolls downhill.

  7. AngelaChanning says

    Something doesn’t sound right. I would ask people to travel from bigger cities to participate, if I thought my turnout would be low due to safety concerns.

  8. GB says

    Maybe it’s time gays stopped marching around. Acceptance may be near, and we should be above strutting and parading about, confirming every tired gay cliche. I’m not talking about hiding, Let’s make gay something to aspire to.

  9. Aepol1 says

    @Jeremy

    The northern part of WI is quite diverse in attitudes towards gay people. In terms of the number of gay couples per capita, after Dane County (Madison), the rest of the top ten counties with the highest percentages of gay couples in domestic partnerships in Wisconsin are all in the north. All rural the counties that border Lake Superior are quite liberal. More so than any others in the state except Dane County. Wausau is a swing area, but other places in the area are quite liberal, such the university town of Stevens Point.

    Southeastern Wisconsin, on the other hand, is home to Waukesha and Washington counties, which voted more to ban gay marriage in 2006 than any of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

    Not to mention the most conse

  10. Aepol1 says

    @Jeremy

    The northern part of WI is quite diverse in attitudes towards gay people. In terms of the number of gay couples per capita, after Dane County (Madison), the rest of the top ten counties with the highest percentages of gay couples in domestic partnerships in Wisconsin are all in the north. All rural the counties that border Lake Superior are quite liberal. More so than any others in the state except Dane County. Wausau is a swing area, but other places in the area are quite liberal, such the university town of Stevens Point.

    Southeastern Wisconsin, on the other hand, is home to Waukesha and Washington counties, which voted more to ban gay marriage in 2006 than any of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

    Not to mention the most conse

  11. Kevin says

    Also keep in mind this in WI,right now a lawsuit to try and overturn the domestic partners program in WI has been allowed to go to the WI Supreme Court.
    So despite the bigot’s claims they’d be fine with us having domestic partnerships etc..they were lying.

  12. RONTEX says

    Agree wi GB and UFFDA, I never aspired to be a drag queen twirler or methed out party boy so never attended a parade. I’m proudly out in Texas with my Husband and kids and see minds opening every day. The parades just allow the media to present us as jokes or worse.

  13. Robbie Horn says

    I checked the Facebook page of the Wisconsin Family Action group and discovered that Rachel Campos-Duffy will be co-hosting The View.

    Rachel Campos Duffy was on MTV The Real World San Francisco with Pedro Zamora years ago and she married the conservative WI lumberjack from Real World Boston who is in the US Congress now.

    Rachel Campos Duffy needs to condemn the bigoted comments on the WI Family Action Facebook page.

  14. Gigi says

    The nutter who told people to turn their backs on the Pride marchers is called David Nutting? Very fitting indeed. Might be a good name for some of the [allegedly gay] homophobes on here who want The Gays to stop parading around. Jesus H!

  15. shanestud says

    Doesn’t anybody at Towleroad check out the story before it is posted? The California guy Daxx Bouvier who organized and promoted the gay pride parade failed to produce any insurance (as required by the city for any parade). Then he disappeared. That did not stop the gay community in Wausau who had a March for Equality Parade with 300 people marching and was well supported and went off without a hitch. Towleroad….check out your facts FURST before publishing.
    Check out the local news reports first:
    http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20130622/WDH01/306220330/March-Equality-goes-off-without-hitch?nclick_check=1

  16. Chicklets says

    Hmmm. I grew up in Wisconsin and go back to visit all the time. Its a beautiful state with very friendly people.
    @Rontex–you are delusional. Texas is HARDLY a gay mans paradise. Please become your own country already! Good riddance.

  17. says

    i don’t know what parades you’re talking about, or in what decade, but the pride parades i’ve gone to, including the one 2 weeks ago today, were family filled events with lots of community, church/other religious, and political participants, plus local and national companies including restaurants and hotel chains, with lots of colorful floats and performances. it’s a big community party, and the spectators are by no means all gay. when was the last time you went to a price parade that you think we need to be ashamed? i look forward to the parade every year. dc’s parade drew 100,000 this month, and went on for about 2 hours.

  18. greenfuzz says

    We had our march today in Columbus,second largest in the midwest behind Chicago. Sure there were drag queens,but they’re far outnumbered by people marching in shorts and t-shirts representing some very major companies. But I don’t know about your world but drag queens are welcome in mine,along with everyone in the rainbow.

  19. Not That Rob says

    To the above commenters, it’s one thing to have your own lifestyle preferences. It’s another thing to slam the very community and culture that has allowed you as gay men to make those lifestyle choices. If you want to live a traditional heterosexual lifestyle except as a gay man, that’s fine. But at least respect the fact that the ‘deviant” “embarrassing” gays are the ones that initiated the gay rights revolution that allow you to make that decision in the first place. In other words, grow some balls, get a clue, or just stfu.

  20. simon says

    Chicklets is right. Wisconsin may be a little bit conservative but the people are friendly.
    If you go to the neighboring Chicago, you will see what I mean.

  21. JMC says

    @shanestud: Thanks for your comment. I was about to say that if you read the article it clearly shows that this guy obviously just completely fell flat on his face in trying to put together a pride parade so the local community worked to create their own event under a different name because they knew this guy would f*ck up. He’s obviously just covering his shame.

    Reading is fundamental, guys.

  22. says

    @RONTEX, it’s clear you’ve never been to a parade because being a drag queen or on meth is not a requirement or even common. Our parade in VT is full of families, church folks, and, yes, a few drag queens and plenty of straight people parading around. All of it quite festive and harmless, until you watch right-wing propaganda and buy into their bogus malarkey.

    @shanestud and a few others seem to know the real story here before everyone goes all judgmental on the gay community in WI.

  23. james says

    @RONTEX;

    I suppose you have NO PROBLEM with heterosexual men throwing beads down at Naked Women during Mardi Gras or Carnevl parades, Tice a year, WORLD-WIDE?

    And then of course there is the very naked Heterosexual Spring Break parties everywhere, where bare titties are all the rage.

    I suppose you applaud THAT as exercising freedom.

    Huh? RIGHT?

    If you think regurgitating tired lying right-wing talking points about Pride is gonna gain you traction, YOU Haven’t been following the news.

    Eff off, fake poser…and take UFFDA and the rest of your paid trolls elsewhere.

  24. Zeta says

    Lame. Oh noes, somebody doesn’t like us, let’s bail. No one gets anywhere by bailing.

  25. Zeta says

    @Rontex, I guess the folks getting offended by your comment don’t see the deeper point you were trying to make about the parades.

  26. Aepol1 says

    To above commenters and Andy,

    The march actually happened. I have pictures from it.

  27. jamal49 says

    GB and UFFDA, why not just go back in your tired, tacky little closets, shut the door, then shut your damned mouths.

    If you are bothered by the people who participate in gay pride parades then it is YOU who have the problem and not the marchers. And nobody says YOU have to attend.

    I don’t know what “stereotypes” you refer to. Men in tight shorts? Drag queens? Diesel dykes? Or the hundreds or thousands of “regular” folk like your supposed-selves?

    Gay pride parades matter. Maybe not to you. But to thousands and thousands of out and proud LGBTQ people, they do. It’s a chance to get out, stand up, be counted, be proud.

  28. says

    Parade-complainers are a useless sort. Why not join in, yourselves, and represent what you’d like people to see?

    I’ve marched in the parades with my family for years.

    the positive impact it has is remarkable:
    http://littlekiwilovesbauhaus.blogspot.ca/2009/07/why-i-do-what-i-do.html

    so, why not take a similar action, if some of you are so adamant about “How we’re represented in the parades?”

    you can’t complain about what you want to be represented not being represented if you refuse to, you know, represent yourselves.

  29. Ben Tambornino says

    I am a gay refuge from Wausau and moved to Los Angeles 32 years
    ago and I can tell you first hand there are more homophobes here then in Wausau. And good for the gay community in Wausau that had the courage to have a gay rights march, thats what the parade was originally!