BUCKSPORT — “I’ve been yelled at,” stated David Weeda. “I’ve been crushed up. I’ve had horrible conditions of dying threats on the cellphone.”
Weeda, a homosexual man who has spent a lot of his life working as an activist, significantly with the homosexual rights motion, beginning in Kansas Metropolis, Mo., again within the Nineteen Eighties, is without doubt one of the organizers of Bucksport’s first Pleasure celebration, occurring on the Bucksport waterfront Saturday.
Ellsworth Pleasure is also internet hosting a Pleasure occasion over the weekend, scheduled from 1-5 p.m. Sunday at Knowlton Park in Ellsworth.
Weeda stated he has been harassed in Bucksport due to his orientation.
Each Weeda and one other organizer, Derek Cole of Bucksport, a straight father of two, have been repeatedly standing on the nook of Fundamental Road with a Black Lives Matter group for the previous yr.
“On Thursday the eighth, Derek couldn’t be a part of me to start with, so I used to be there alone,” Weeda stated. “I put the American flag up. I put the rainbow flag up. A automobile comes down Fundamental Road and slows manner down. He yells, ‘Take that goddamn flag down.’” “It rattled me,” Weeda stated. However the confrontation wasn’t over. The person parked behind Weeda’s automobile, yelled some extra, shot video along with his cellphone and eventually went to complain on the police station a couple of rainbow flag being flown on public property. Weeda additionally known as the station to let officers know what was happening. Police defined to the person who was upset in regards to the rainbow flag that Weeda had a proper to fly it.
“The cop stated he was assured this man understood it was OK,” Weeda stated. “The identical man got here the second day.”
“You simply really feel just like the work you’re doing has an affect, however you’re frequently going 5 steps ahead and 10 steps again,” he added.
“It’s obvious that irrespective of the place you reside, there’s at all times work to be achieved in a neighborhood,” Cole stated.
However first, Saturday’s Pleasure celebration is an opportunity for everybody to have a superb time.
The all-ages occasion, which begins at 4 p.m., can have free pizza, drinks, ice cream and leisure, together with a DJ and a band.
“DJ Chipmunk (aka Nicolas Delli Paoli) shall be taking part in tunes and emceeing from 4 to 7 p.m., together with an open mic hour starting at 6, with headliners Gus La Casse and Mathias Kamin taking part in fiddle, guitar and banjo starting at 7.
“All this apart, we’re simply making an attempt to have some enjoyable,” stated Cole. “It’s summer time in Maine. COVID might or is probably not over. Let’s have a celebration whereas we nonetheless can.”
Cole stated, “Each city ought to get up and say, ‘We love and assist you.’ I wish to make certain my two children, once they go away our home, are comfy loving whoever they wish to love or not loving anybody. I need them to be accepted for whoever they find yourself being. To verify my children don’t should put up with something.”
The funds raised from Saturday’s occasion shall be donated to the homosexual/straight alliance golf equipment at Bucksport Excessive Faculty and The Attain Faculty.
“All through my life, everytime you make a public tackle, you at all times finish with a speech that you simply’re doing this work for the subsequent technology,” Weeda stated.
The activist cited a company known as the Trevor Venture, which states that the suicide price amongst LGBTQ+ youngsters is thrice the speed of their friends.
“The very last thing I wish to hear is one other story in regards to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge,” stated Cole. “I don’t need that for anyone’s children.”
The pair are additionally planning a movie competition in October on the Alamo Theatre.
Weeda labored for a number of years within the late ’80s and early ’90s in Kansas Metropolis getting laws handed to forestall discrimination in opposition to individuals who have been HIV-positive in addition to getting a homosexual rights legislation handed.
That work was the main focus of a 2018 documentary known as “The Ordinance Venture,” which they hope to indicate on the movie competition this fall.
Why do Pleasure occasions happen in June?
Weeda defined that it was in June of 1969 that the Stonewall Riots occurred. The riots, which occurred on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in New York Metropolis between police and homosexual individuals, was the catalyst for the worldwide homosexual rights motion.
Weeda quipped that the battle has moved past homosexual and lesbian rights to embody “all of the letters within the alphabet — LGBTQ+.”
A Bucksport mom is a member of the group.
“Bucksport Pleasure pledges to proceed constructing a neighborhood with civility, compassion, and love, which welcomes, appreciates and helps the broad spectrum of range in our human household,” stated Maggie Wentworth. “I grew-up on this city and now I’m elevating my youngsters right here. I’m so glad that Bucksport is celebrating Pleasure; all of our residents, significantly our youth, must really feel protected and welcome it doesn’t matter what their sexual orientation or gender identification.”
The Well being Fairness Alliance in Bangor is serving because the fiscal sponsor for the occasion.