(Cody, Wyo.) The Independence Day celebrations in Cody this week have been overshadowed by a growing controversy on Facebook. Several people photographed a float in the Cody Stampede Parade of an outhouse with the sign "Transgender Bathroom" pointing towards it. Further outrage over what appeared to be a sign on the float stating it was an "award winner" caused many people to share the photos commenting that Wyoming is not truly the "Equality State." EMBED We reached out to the Cody Stampede Parade Committee for comment, and they have yet to return our calls. They did issue a statement
on their Facebook page, saying:
"While we support everyone who are willing to spend the time and effort to
create an entry for the parade, we recognize there was some confusion and
even anger about this particular float. We are going to do what we always
do in Wyoming and sit at the table with the folks from Wyoming Equality and
the transgender community. We apologize for any hurt that may have been
caused and we look forward to serving the entire Cody community – you are
all what makes our town great. Thank you for your continued support."
The "award" presented on the float was reportedly for a costumed horse
rider further up front in the parade lineup, and not the float itself.
One member of the Wyoming transgender community wrote
"This is absolutely heartbreaking. Words can not explain how I feel. This
state is my home; every morning I wake up and hang the state flag from the
porch of my house because I'm proud to live here and be a citizen of 'The
Equality State'. To allow such a public display of hatred towards me and
all other trans people in a parade like this makes me feel incredibly
unwelcome, scared and hurt. I do hope and believe that progress will be
made, this is not what our state stands for."
In response to the controversy, former Big Horn Radio Program Director Bobby
Rock said :
"Uff Da...knew the hornet's nest was gonna go when I saw that float. Just
shook my head...I get the meaning behind it and I'm sure there was no
meaningful intent to hurt anyone...to me it was a bad attempt at making a
humorous suggestion about a topic. [...] Cody, Wyoming is a Great Town and
it takes ALL of us to keep it that way and continue to move it forward."
Wyoming Equality reports that members from their board and from the ACLU
will be meeting with the parade committee next month regarding the
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