Out Nation: Pride Flags Vandalized in New York; Colorado LGBTQ Club Shooter Pleads Guilty

Pride flags. Photo via pbs.org.

Pride flags were vandalized again at the Stonewall National Monument in New York, the Colorado LGBTQ club shooter pleaded guilty to hate crime charges, and drag queens traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Pride Flags Vandalized Again at Stonewall National Monument

Over 150 rainbow flags at New York City’s Stonewall National Monument displayed for Pride Month were vandalized last week, according to NBC News. This is the second year in a row such vandalization has occurred.

According to a spokesperson for the New York Police Department, someone damaged 160 flags inside and outside the monument between the evening of June 27 and the morning of June 28.

“Anyone who thinks this will intimidate or silence our community is badly mistaken,” New York City Councilmember Erik Bottcher said in a text message to NBC News. “Hateful acts like this merely strengthen our resolve.”

Colorado LGBTQ Club Shooter Pleads Guilty to 50 Hate Crimes


Anderson Lee Aldrich. Photo courtesy of Colorado Department of Corrections.

The shooter who killed five and injured 19 at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes and received 55 life sentences on June 25, according to the Associated Press.

Twenty-four-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to state charges last year. Federal prosecutors aimed to prove that the shooting was premeditated and driven by bias.

“I’ve had to look at my partner in a casket, attend funerals of my friends and deal with unspeakable trauma,” said Wyatt Kent, who lost their partner Daniel Aston in the shooting at Club Q, as quoted by the AP.

Drag Queens Lobby Congress for LGBTQ Rights


Joey Jay & Jiggly Caliente alongside Brigitte Bandit at The Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo via Drag Crave, X (formerly Twitter).

A group of drag queens traveled to Washington, D.C. on June 25 to advocate for pro-LGBTQ legislation with members of Congress, according to the Washington Blade. The group included “Drag Race Philippines” judge Jiggly Caliente, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 13 contestant Joey Jay and Brigitte Bandit.

They called on lawmakers to back the Equality Act, adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Transgender Bill of Rights, aimed at incorporating specific protections for transgender individuals into federal nondiscrimination laws.

Progressive group MoveOn coordinated the event, referring to it as Drag Lobby Day.

“Today we brought together a trio of advocates and drag artists to stick up for LGBTQ folks, talk about what’s at stake and fight back against some extremist, hateful attacks, and narratives from conservative politicians,” said MoveOn Campaign Director Nakia Stephens at a press conference held outside the U.S. Capitol.


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