Tuesday, May 02, 2017
Wyoming Lives and Lets Tutu
Bar patrons in the Equality State. Twitter photo
In these mean-spirited times, a sliver of grace and good: After Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi told students at Greybull High School, "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," defiant supporters of LGBTQ equality - including lots of scruffy, smiling, boots-and-jeans straight guys - took to wearing tutus to work, school and, yes, bars to protest Enzi's blame-the-victim response to a question about LGBTQ rights. Soon after making the remark, Enzi apologized for his "poor choice of words," said "no offense was intended," and stressed that "nobody, including LGBT individuals, should be bullied or feel unsafe.”
Still, the residents of the Equality State - so named for their early support for women's right to vote - weren't having it in a place whose mantra is, "Live and Let Live." State-wide efforts quickly got underway, says one organizer, to "show Senator Enzi (he is) representing a really diverse group of people." There were tutu-themed protest parties, tutorials, pub crawls - with discounts for tutus - a church family game night, and a slew of gleeful photos posted under the hashtag #LiveandLetTutu. Protesters were also urged to keep in mind the real issues of bullying and civil rights: "Wear your tutus (but) please take it seriously," wrote one activist. "Respect the cause." Wrote another,“It is a great time to be in the Equality State, where we talk out differences and show up for each other - with or without tutus.”
At the labs named for Enzi. Photo by Tyler Wolfgang, pictured.