In Taylor, Texas, a fierce debate has erupted over the presence of drag queens in the town’s annual Christmas parade, with some accusing the conservative community of waging a “war on LGBTQ rights.” Last year, for the first time, the parade featured a float sponsored by Taylor Pride carrying drag queens, causing tensions to flare up between the community and the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance (TAMA), which organizes the parade.
Residents recount that the town’s division became evident after the inclusion of the drag queens, despite initial cheers and applause. TAMA, in response, decided not to permit any floats featuring drag queens in the 2022 Christmas parade, citing the inconsistency with Christianity and traditional family values. Unapologetic about his anti-LGBTQ beliefs, TAMA’s Jeff Ripple said, “all entries must conform with traditional family and Biblical values.”
Amidst the controversy, Taylor held two separate Christmas parades: one organized by TAMA and another by the city. Taylor Pride, the organization that sponsors the Christmas float, hosts several events throughout the year, resulting in protests from TAMA. According to Taylor Pride’s Denise Rodgers, LGBTQ youth across the United States, particularly in conservative red states, are severely affected by these anti-LGBTQ efforts. They face a lack of support and resources, making them feel increasingly frightened and vulnerable.
Despite ongoing challenges, Taylor Pride remains committed to holding events to support and celebrate the LGBTQ community, even as those who oppose their very existence continue to show up at their doorstep. It’s essential to recognize that the issue at hand is much more significant than children engaging in arts and crafts; it’s about