Another Pride festival, another cadre of anti-gay haters with signs. But as 2015 celebrations fade into memory, a pair of gay Houston guys leave a lasting impression on protesters – and us.
Landon Chapman and Chase Bowman are “Friends. Very good friends,” Chapman tells Project Q Houston. We can see how good in their video and photo (above, right) during the Pride Houston festival on June 27.
“It was my first Pride event ever, and I was having an amazing time with my friends celebrating the legalization of gay marriage,” Chapman says. “As we were walking around, we came across a group of protesters. It made me mad and disappointed that they were out there, I didn't understand why they would be out there holding signs and saying crude things when all we are trying to do is have a good time.”
Couple or not, theirs was a perfect image for a historic Pride weekend of “Love Wins.” A day after the Supreme Court dealt gay couples a marriage victory in Texas and across the country, a loving embrace was a wholly appropriate response, Chapman asserts.
“As badly as I wanted to go over to them and argue, I knew that would be pointless so I decided that showing them what they were doing had no affect on us,” he continues. “By making out in front of them, I felt that said way more to them than arguing would have. And it showed them we could care less what they had to say and that we are here to stay and there efforts are in vain."
As a crowd cheered and the protestors yelled “You’re going to hell” with a megaphone, Chapman was overwhelmed with positive energy.
“It was very exciting,” he says. “I was immediately filled with lots of energy and excitement. I could tell it was an incredible and very emotional moment for me and the supporters.”
The kiss was but one of the routes people took to shut down the hate. Taking them on – mostly with shame and ridicule – was a fun pastime for some as the day wore on, too. Well, that and an epic downtown party and parade directly across from sign wavers just cruising for a fight and waiting to make trouble.
The haters even created their own video of shout-down shenanigans and some of the reaction to post on YouTube for posterity. It’s a little ditty they call “Demon Possessed Hateful Homosexual vs. Holy Spirit Filled Loving Street Preacher.” You know, the usual.
From one year to the next, the scene may ring familiar to Pride veterans. Like these Houston Pride-goers calling bullshit on the protesters in 2014. But we think Chapman and Bowman might be on to something about making a more lasting impression and having fun while doing it. Good on you, boys!