The Austin Independent School District encouraged their staff, students, and families to attend the annual Pride Parade. Here’s the whole story.
Wear “Pride Costumes and Rainbow Colors”
In Austin, Texas, the Austin Independent School District (ISD) encouraged students to attend a pride parade known to contain controversial imagery. They recommended that students and families wear “pride costumes and rainbow colors.”
Austin ISD posted about the parade on their website, saying, “Staff, students, and their families are invited to represent Austin ISD in the annual Austin Pride Parade.”
The website said, “We are proud to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and families and to highlight our commitment to creating a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all!”
To further encourage attendance, Austin ISD provided free shuttles to staff, students, and families attending the pride parade. “Austin ISD Pride” t-shirts were also available for those who chose to attend.
“Drag Queen Story Time”
The school district said that elementary and middle school students needed to be accompanied by an adult to attend but did not specify if that adult had to be the child’s parent or guardian.
The parade did not have an age limit to attend and allowed children under six to enter for free. “Drag Queen Story Time” was also advertised as part of the Austin Pride Festival.
The official Austin pride website promoted the parade theme as “KEEP AUSTIN QUEER’D”. It proclaimed it is in defiance of those concerned about LGBTQ ideology’s impact on children across the county.
“From attacks on our drag community to the fight for trans rights…sometimes it feels that our community is getting pushed from all sides,” the website wrote. The pride parade allows the LGBT community to stand their ground.
Cupcake Performed With Lady Grackle – “Dirtiest Mouth of the South”
The pride parade’s official website encouraged attendees to “come decked out in your most fabulous pride attire.”
In footage from a previous year’s pride parade in Austin, one float carried a drag queen and mostly unclothed men in bondage gear.
One of the performers in the lineup goes by the name of Cupcake. Cupcake’s social media description describes them as “Austin’s Original Drag Artist/Host/Hooker.
Always baked, with a creamy center.” Cupcake also performed with Lady Grackle, who is described as having the “dirtiest mouth of the south.”
“The Sexualization of Kids Shouldn’t Be Tolerated ANYWHERE”
The Texas Family Project is a group that aims to protect and advocate for family units.
When they found out about the school district encouraging students to attend the pride parade, they fired off several questions in a tweet: “What about this gives students an academic advantage? What does this have to do with literacy? How many tax dollars are going to this while families in Austin struggle to get by?”
In a subsequent tweet, the group said, “The sexualization of kids shouldn’t be tolerated ANYWHERE, especially not in our schools.” The tweets got many reactions from people opposed to children being encouraged to attend this event.
One user commented, “What in the actual heck is going on here with our children and our tax dollars? You shouldn’t be discussing sexuality at all to children much less transporting them to some alphabet event with tax dollars.”
Senate Bill 12 Banned “Sexually Oriented Performances” in Front of Children
The pride parade occurred just a few weeks before Senate Bill 12 banned “sexually oriented performances” in front of children.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed a lawsuit against the Texas attorney general attempting to block Senate Bill 12.
The group said the bill violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution and “threatens the livelihood and free expression of many Texans, including drag performers.”
Austin ISD is known for its support of LGBT causes. The district’s “Gay-Straight Alliance” promoted various events for the students during “Pride Week.”
“Let’s Talk Genders and Sexualities”
Resources and guides were available for campus coordinators to discuss “Police Free Schools” and “Let’s Talk Genders and Sexualities.”
For Austin ISD, “Pride Week” is a time to highlight their commitment to creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment for all.
The school district also refused official inquiries from Texas lawmakers into its school libraries to account for books that might include sexually explicit or racially charged content.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / AlessandroBiascioli. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: The TEXAN