This week read about LGBT Texans participating in a pageant, and locals denying the existence of Neo-Nazi groups despite hate crimes rising in Massachusetts.
Pageant Allows LGBT Texans to Embrace Themselves
Eleven contestants dazzled during the annual Miss Gay Texas USofA Classic. From color-popping lipsticks, volumized lashes, and hair teased to the heavens, contestants prepared themselves to impress the judges.
The 18-year-old pageant has been a home for the LGBT to embrace and celebrate their uniqueness and choose to celebrate 40 and over contestants.
“Prior to us, these shows were in gay clubs at night and people were hanging over the railings. Now it’s sophisticated,” said Dallasite Adam Beale to Texas Monthly.
The three organizers, Kofi (pronounced “coffee”), Kelexis Davenport, and Erick Castillo (a.k.a. Kayla Monroe) took over the pageant to honor the late Craig Henderson.
“It’s a safe space where you can come and be free and unapologetically yourself, especially with all the rollbacks happening in Texas right now,” Texas drag legend Tommie Ross said.
The show has similar categories compared to the usual Miss America pageants except in order to win Miss Gay Texas USofA contestants must bring sass, ferocity, and endless amounts of colors, glitter, and rhinestones to make an impression on the judges.
Locals Deny Existence of Neo-Nazi Group Despite Rise in Hate Crimes
NSC-131 members holding a "Keep Boston Irish" sign at the 2022 Boston St. Patrick's Day parade. Screenshot via NBC10 Boston.
Nationalist Social Club, or NSC-131, has been audacious since a spike in its membership last fall.
Waltham’s Night Watch, an organization that documents hate groups, hate crimes, and far-right activity in Boston and other nearby areas, said they witnessed a meeting recently by the Park Street MBTA station on May 7, according to the Boston.com.
The night watch said that there has been an increase in hate crimes and speech but Bostonians have a difficult time accepting the fact because of the city’s diversity.
“What makes Massachusetts different is that people here are very reluctant to believe that hate groups can exist here. We have a long history of confronting bigotry in other places and denying it at home,” a Night’s Watch representative told Boston.com.
A study by Southern Poverty Law Center found that there were currently 14 hate groups in the state as of 2021. These hate groups range from anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim while identifying themselves as white nationalists and neo-Nazi.
“It’s important to document these things so people can’t deny them,” said a Night’s Watch representative.