Matthew Mason, the gay son of Mylinda Mason, one of the co-organizers of a Straight Pride event planned for later this month in Modesto, California, is speaking out against his homophobic mother.
Last month, flyers for the event began circulating around town encouraging residents to “Join us to celebrate heterosexuality, masculinity, femininity, babies–born and unborn–western civilization, our wonderful country, Christianity–Celebrate Life!”
Now, Mason says he will speak before the City Council this Wednesday in hopes of getting the event shut down.
Mason worries the hate rally will incite violence after members from the local chapter of the Proud Boys, the domestic terrorist group responsible for the 2017 hate rally in Charlottesville that resulted in a car being driven into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing a woman and injuring several others, said they planned to attend.
The event’s other co-founder, Don Grundmann, has a long history of promoting hate, founding several antigay groups, including the National Straight Pride Coalition and Citizens Against Perversion.
Related: “Straight Pride” is officially coming to California
In an interview last month, Grundmann told reporters, “We’re going to change the cultural tide and make it, such things as gender fluidity and transgender, we’re going to associate them with what they are: sick and evil ideas.”
“We don’t want hate in Modesto,” 28-year-old Mason, who was adopted as a baby and came out when he was 19 but became estranged from his mother a few years ago, says. “I am making sure Modesto is not a place for hate speech.”
Mason is also helping to organize a candlelight vigil before the Wednesday’s council meeting to protest the straight pride event.
Meanwhile, his mom denies being in tolerant and simply says she has an “opposing view” from her estranged son.
The “intolerance does not come from our side,” Mylinda Mason insists. “We are not happy they are going to try to shut down our side and deny us peaceable assembly. It’s obvious we have two opposing views. It’s the other side that wants the opposing view shut down. It’s not our side.”
Matthew Mason says that if the event happens, he doubts it will attract many people, despite organizers saying they expect at least 500 attendees.
“I’m fully expecting they will have a small, pitiful turnout,” he says. “They are a fringe group.”
Meanwhile, his mom says she still loves her son despite their obvious differences.
“I would say it’s heartbreaking,” she says of their fractured relationship. “Any parent feels this way.”
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