Marching through the throngs of people during the Seattle PrideFest Parade was a gun-touting group that raised some eyebrows.
A group of friends, some gay and some not, promoting gun rights, marched with those celebrating gay pride.
It was something that caused KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson some disbelief because gay rights and gun advocates are often on the opposite sides of the political spectrum.
However, Shannon Tahja, who was marching with the group, told Dori that it was a welcoming experience.
“We wanted to close that divide,” she told Dori. “We wanted to show them these are our rights, too.”
The LGBTQ community has been victimized, Tahja said. That doesn’t have to be the case.
So is the group advocating for gay people to carry weapons, Dori asked.
Yes. Gay people “don’t have to be [victims],” she responded.
That sentiment reflected some of the signs the group carried, including one that read: “Armed gays [sic] don’t get bashed.”
But Seattle is typically anti-gun, Dori pointed out. So how did the people attending the Pride event, which ended at the Seattle Center, respond?
The group expected to be heckled — that’s exactly what happened in Olympia during a similar march — but it was different in Seattle.
“We got nothing but support,” Tahja said. She could count the people who opposed their message on one hand. “We did not expect to be treated as humans.”