Group re-paints White Rock rock for pride Monday after the first mural was covered with graffiti. Courtesy photo
By DAVID DANIEL
Last night (June 7) a group of dedicated White Rock and Los Alamos activists repainted the famous White Rock (rock) after their initial efforts in celebration of Los Alamos Pride week had been painted over immediately (and hastily) with pro-military slogans and bible verses traditionally used by anti-gay Christian extremist groups to indicate homophobic/queerphobic sentiments.
The group, which was originally comprised of two separate groups (with members ranging in age from 12 to 62) that did NOT pre-coordinate, but both came to repaint the rock after the hateful messaging, worked together to produce a 360-degree Pride celebration.
At the centerpiece is a mural depicting the famous D-Day Memorial, with a Progress Pride Flag hanging in the arch. (The pro-military graffiti had suggested the heroes of D-Day be remembered in lieu of Pride).
When asked about the decision to include a D-Day element organizers stated that they wished to show that Pride is about ALL people, and there is room enough for all sentiments. And, that the global awakenings which happened as a result of WWII are deeply rooted in the queer liberation movement and that queer people are also grateful to our veterans.
So, the organizers did not see the two messages as conflicting and did not want to return the act of being silenced with an attempt to respond in kind. Their hope is that the White Rock remains a place of shared celebration for our community. One organizer was quoted as saying, “If it had been someone painting over us the next day with “Happy Birthday Timmy” it wouldn’t have been a big deal. We share that space, and no one is guaranteed a time on the rock, but this (the graffiti) was different and clearly an attempt to silence our celebration and to further marginalize queer identities in our community, and so we decided it needed to be redone.”
Los Alamos Pride continues through this week until Sunday June 13 and all community members are invited to attend various smaller scale COVID safe events during the remaining week. For more information, please visit the Friends of Los Alamos Pride Facebook Group.
Graffiti on White Rock rock is painted over Monday for Pride Week. Courtesy photo