Boro Pride will be back despite ‘attack on LGBTQ community,’ nonprofit says

WSMV's Courtney Allen reports Murfreesboro Pride is on for 2023.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:22 PM CST
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Tennessee Equality Project says there will be a pride festival in Murfreesboro in 2023, despite city leaders recently banning the nonprofit from holding future events on city property.

The city’s ban on the nonprofit’s events came after video from this year’s Boro Pride festival surfaced that city leaders did not agree with. The video shows a few minutes of the event’s drag show. City manager Craig Tindall said it shows sexual dancing, which he said was inappropriate for the kids there.

Mayor Shane McFarland is backing up Tindall and agreed in a video he posted to Facebook last week.

“If you want to do a drag show and invite kids, we can’t mandate being a crappy parent,” McFarland said. “What we can say is what is appropriate on city parks and recreation property. The main problem I have with the festival is you lose me when I watch a portion of that video, and there are children involved.

Leslie Russell Yost with Boro Pride has a different take.

“I see those same moves with cheerleaders and flag people in football games and things like that,” Yost said. “I feel like those are just popular dance moves. This sort of thing is just another attack on the LGBTQ community.”

She said more than 7,000 people attended the seven-hour event. The city said five people complained about the event prior to the ban.

The Tennessee Equality Project is considering all options, including legal action, to continue Boro Pride. Yost said they could hold it at a private venue, but that would be more expensive.

WSMV 4 asked if there will be any changes to the event following this year’s controversy.

“Regarding drag, drag is literally in the DNA of pride, so pride events will always have drag.” Yost said.

During Thursday’s city council meeting, the city said at least 10 people complained about Boro Pride, while three expressed support.