Jewish pride flags were banned from a Chicago gay parade because they were “triggering” people, according to organizers.
At least three people with the Jewish pride flags, which feature a Star of David superimposed on a rainbow flag, were asked to leave the parade on Saturday because “triggered” people took offense.
The Dyke March later released a statement apologizing for the incident but said the three marchers were asked to leave after they “repeatedly expressed support for Zionism.”
“Sadly, our celebration of dyke, queer and trans solidarity was partly overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally,” organizers said on social media. “This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Dyke March Collective members.”
One of the banned participants said she felt unwelcome.
“The Dyke March is supposed to be intersectional. I don’t know why my identity is excluded from that,” she said. “I felt that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here.”
This year was likely the first time Jewish symbolism was banned from the march.
“It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag,” said participant Laurel Grauer.
She also said she “lost count” of the number of people who harassed her, with one person reportedly telling her the march was “pro-Palestinian” and “anti-Zionist.”
Additionally, organizers singled out Grauer for “provocative actions at other LGBTQ events and for using Israel’s supposed ‘LGBTQ tolerance’ to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine” and claimed the Jewish pride flag was part of this “pinkwashing.”
The Chicago Dyke March, which began in 1995, is billed as a “anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grassroots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual and transgender resilience.”
Interestingly, American flags were apparently not welcome either because they are seen as a “symbol of oppression” by marchers, despite the fact that gays and lesbian refugees routinely come to America to escape violent, anti-LGBT regimes that are common in the Middle East and Asia.
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