In the six years I have joined the Bay Area Intactivists participating in the San Francisco Pride parade, the worst reaction to our presence I have ever seen along the parade route was subdued disapproval. Never shouting. No name-calling. Certainly no violence.
That all changed this year. As the Bay Area Intactivists moved into the parade route, a single individual began spewing vile and hateful abuse at us. The experience was not unlike the kind I have seen and experienced from homophobes and religious zealots of all kinds who sometimes come to Pride celebrations.
The experience was puzzling, frightening, and weird all at the same time. I seriously wondered whether he had us confused with the real “child molesters,” which is what he kept calling us. After all, we’re the advocates for children. We were the group with the half dozen or so mothers, all of whom had protected and defended their children from the predators who wield the knives aimed squarely at the little ones’ most private, most sensitive parts: their genitals. So what gives?
We obviously hit a very sensitive nerve in this man, whose demeanor you can judge for yourself in the still photos below. He was acting out over a very profound hurt. I can’t say for sure whether that hurt was centered on his own genital mutilation or something else. But we in the community working for children’s rights and seeking protections from circumcisers, whether through an appeal to society, doctors or legislators, need to understand this could become more common as we become more successful.