Daxx Bouvier had been planning to hold a Pride Parade this Sunday, but made the decision to cancel the event due to the homophobia and general ugliness form a variety of people in Wausau, Wisconsin. Among those who attacked him was a member of the Wausau City council, Dave Nutting, and several local media sources.
Bouvier stated that “I do feel a great sense of loss for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. Canceling the parade has set Wausau back 30 years in the way people think about the gay community.”
Bouvier lives in California, but owns property in Wausau. He also noted that there were threats to the safety of those who wanted to march in the parade, so chose to cancel the event rather than allow people to get hurt.
Nutting had told residents at the 11 June council meeting to stay away from the parade or turn their backs on “deviant-behaving individuals.”
City officials noted that, as of last week, Bouvier had failed to provide proof of insurance for the parade. Bouvier noted that he had the insurance policy written, but he had not turned it in because he was concerned that the city would rewrite it; however, it is possible he was already having doubts about the event at the time.
Bouvier stated that he will not, in the future, organize Pride events in Wausau, but hopes that others will in the future.
That may happen anyway. A similar event will be held on Saturday at 3pm. The March for Equality has been planned out by Shannon Thomas, a resident of Wausau and owner of One Girl Creative. So far, according to her, more than 300 people have committed to participating in the event.
Thomas is certain that the cancellation of the Pride parade will not have much of an effect on her march. She stated “No matter what event it was, the message always is to promote equal rights for all people in our community.” Thomas also encouraged people attending the march to bring balloons of any color since she and the other volunteers did not have time or money to buy LGBT flags to wave.