Buffalo Grove Pride, like other suburban LGBTQ organizations, has come under fire by extreme right-wing publications and groups.
The north suburban group is planning a National Coming Out Day event at the Libertyville Double Tree. The event would include dinner, a dance, raffle, resource tables, an art display by Peter Thaddeus and a drag performance. As with UpRising Bakery in Lake in the Hills and the Downers Grove Public Library, drag seems to be the breaking point.
As of Wednesday night, the event had been reported on by Fox News, Libs of TikTok, The National Desk, and, most worryingly, InfoWars. All the outlets decried drag queens performing for children as young as five. Far right activist Rich Penkoski has also tagged the event and Joliet Pridefest for his followers to fight against.
InfoWars is the most infamous of the outlets. In the past few years, it and its owner Alex Jones have been banned from most of the major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and YouTube. These days, it host its podcasts and videos only on their own website. It has published conspiracy theories and false news about many events, including the Sandy Hook and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas school shootings. Jones is now in court over the false claims about Sandy Hook.
Carolyn Pinta, who with her family runs Buffalo Grove Pride, said that so far the hotel is standing strong.
The hotel is now under attack by the right-wing for hosting the event. It has received phone calls and gotten review-bombed. As things stand now, the hotel is still hosting the event.
For the first time in Buffalo Grove Pride’s four years of operation, they are expecting protesters. Pinta has said that people who have purchased tickets can get a refund with no questions asked.
The suburbs are increasingly becoming a major battleground. Pressure from the right-wing, including threats, has already forced the cancellation of Drag Queen Bingo in Downers Grove and forced the rescheduling of another drag event in Lake in the Hills. Joliet Pride recent had to lock down their Facebook page because of harassment.
“BG Pride will carry out their mission to highlight, celebrate and normalize the LGBTQ community in a family friendly way on October 7th,” Pinta said. “Please join us! We will not let hate win!”