Pride events begin in NKY amid tension and drastic political shifts

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Written by Sean DeLancey for WCPO

The normally fun and boisterous events at the NKY Pride Center had a sense of nerve injected into it Tuesday in the wake of lawmakers in Frankfort passing laws targeting LGBTQ+ rights and kids.

President Bonnie Meyer said they’re still here to be proud and recognized, but the stakes have definitely been raised.

Drag performer P.H.Dee performed at Tuesday’s Pride Youth Party, and she said she’s recognized that conversations surrounding trans people, particularly trans youth, have been elevated.

“Resources like this, they’re here to uplift and celebrate, and also to fight when necessary. These days, I think it’s necessary,” she said.

The Kentucky legislature passed Senate Bill 150 which, among other things, forced kids to use the bathroom matching their biological sex, banned teachers from discussing sexuality or gender identity, and banned all gender-affirming care for people under 18 years old.

As a person who didn’t transition until her 20s after being raised in a small conservative town, P.H.Dee said the bills concerned her for the mental impact it could have on children who would or already have begun transition care.

“Knowing that people want to stifle that, restrict it, is quite literally a life or death manner,” she said.

Meyer asked WCPO not to show the faces of the LGBTQ+ kids and their allies due to the current political climate.

“That’s why we’re here tonight,” Meyer said. “Because over the last, certainly the last couple of years, but certainly the last legislative session in Kentucky, was an attack on LGBTQA+ kids.”

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David Walls, executive director of the Kentucky Family Foundation, defended the bills, however, saying they would protect kids from making a major change too young.

“What we’re talking about is chemical and physical mutilation of children’s bodies,” Walls said.

The leader of a Christian conservative group contends that gender-affirming care isn’t medical care despite support from several different medical and pediatric associations during a debate on the floor of the legislature.

“Seeking to do something that’s just simply not possible — change the biological sex of a child through a series of interventions — that does children harm,” he said.

With tensions high on both sides heading into Pride month, Walls called for people to make their opinions heard without violence during Pride events.

“Our hope is always for peaceful,” he said. “We believe in peacefully advocating in the battle of ideas.”

P.H.Dee worried trans kids would still be harmed by the restrictive laws if they come into effect at the end of June.

“I don’t want that blood on my hands,” she said. “Do they?”

ACLU Kentucky filed an injunction this week that seeks to block the portion of the bill that bans children under the age of 18 from receiving gender-affirming care, such as the ban on puberty blockers, gender-affirming surgery, or hormones.

Injunctive relief would block the part of the bill while the case is litigated.

This story originally appeared at

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