When will politicians learn the risk they’re taking when they meet with groups of high school students? Teenagers are way smarter and way more direct than adults think they are.
Recently Wyoming’s Republican Senator, Mike Enzi, visited a public middle-high school in Greybull, Wyoming. He was asked what he’s doing to improve the lives of LGBTQ citizens in the western state.
In typically tone-deaf old Republican white man fashion, the Senator said that Wyoming citizens need more “civility.” Then he trotted out that old outdated chestnut that people can be any way they want to be, as long as they don’t call too much attention to themselves. His exact words were:
“We always say that in Wyoming you can be just about anything you want to be, as long as you don’t push it in somebody’s face. I know a guy who wears a tutu and goes to bars on Friday night and is always surprised that he gets in fights. Well, he kind of asks for it.”
Wyoming may be the wild west, but a lot of its residents recognized the homophobic tone of that statement, and they weren’t having it.
A man named Patrick Harrington teamed up with his pal Mike Vanata to start up a response effort. They wanted to make their point, but they thought it best to keep things light hearted.
And that’s how #LiveAndLetTutu was born.
People put on tutus and headed out to bars across the state on Friday night. They had drinks, they laughed, some of them danced. And they took it to social media, to spread the word that Wyoming is not a gay bashing, intolerant place.
— AMCuprill (@AMCuprill) April 29, 2017
— Nina McConigley (@ninawyo) April 29, 2017
You have to love it. The flannel shirts, cowboy hats, big ol’ boots and the fluffy tutus. These people have guts!
— Katherine Boehrer (@kboehrer) April 29, 2017
— WyomingEquality (@WyoEquality) April 29, 2017
These folks took a stand, had a beer and looked mighty fancy while they did it. I hope the Senator learns from this, and realizes that he represents a whole, diverse population. And they shouldn’t have to hide themselves in order to be safe.