Justin's Gift, LBGTQ youth group, shut out of Anoka's Halloween parade

Categories: GLBT
anoka halloween.jpg
"We foolishly assumed that given we were an Anoka-based youth organization, we were in," a Justin's Group coordinator said.
At best, it's an example of horrible public relations on behalf of Anoka Halloween. At worst, it reflects the fact that the more things change in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, the more they stay the same.

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Justin's Gift, an LGBTQ youth group founded in the memory of Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old gay Anoka High School who killed himself after he was bullied in school, has been informed youth from the group won't be allowed to walk in Anoka's annual Halloween parade, ostensibly because "there were too many people already walking in the parade."

Anoka Halloween is the nonprofit that organizes the annual parade in the so-called "Halloween Capital of the World." MinnPost called Anoka Halloween's headquarters in hopes of getting more information about the decision to shut out Justin's Gift, but their calls weren't returned.

Jefferson Fietek, a teacher and one of the adult coordinators of Justin's Gift, told MinnPost the decision "doesn't seem to be very well-thought-out."

"The history of the [Anoka Halloween] organization is showcasing youth organizations; that's confusing to us," he said. "Especially when there's outside groups marching, we got bumped?"

Justin's Gift announced Anoka Halloween's decision on its website and urged youth to instead attend the "Halloween Dance," but at least one parent isn't willing to take Anoka-Hennepin's snub lying down.

Rebecca Krone, a mom and paraprofessional works works with special needs youth in Anoka-Hennepin, created a petition to "Allow the students of Justin's Gift organization to walk in the parade."

To read the petition, which already had about 400 signatures as of late this morning, click to page two.

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42 comments
leeflea5
leeflea5

@fakedansavage Bachmann...humph. This woman needs meds. Truly.

Zandergriff
Zandergriff

@UnGajje The Bachmanniacs are truly an embarrassment to my state!

lady_suadi
lady_suadi

@fakedansavage signed! Thanks for bringing this to our attention

corikinns
corikinns

I also live in Anoka.  We are NOT all like this.  Everyone I know who lives in Anoka is very progressive and follows the golden rule.  My sister will proudly wear our Justin's Gift shirts and attend the parade this year. 

MoistForse
MoistForse

@fakedansavage Thanks for sharing this. I'm a proud MN'tan but am ashamed of the jerks behind the rejection of these admirable youths!

beachbaybe
beachbaybe

As a previous student of Anoka and worker in the community, I know that the individuals of the city have good hearts, but the community as a whole still seems to be teetering on addressing the intolerance that has occured towards the GLBT community. I am very saddened and disappointed that the group was denied to walk since the parade is already a decent length of time, what would be the harm of involving one more group. This was a chance for the committee of Anoka Halloween to show their love and support for the community and the youth by letting them walk. My hope is that Anoka Halloween strongly reconsiders their decision so that the city no longer holds the term "Hate Capital of the World."

unstoppableroo
unstoppableroo

@fakedansavage that is beyond ridiculous and poorly thought out. Signed and the word spread. Thanks for the heads up!

Loleets
Loleets

Many MNers wish we were in her district so we could vote against her RT @fakedansavage Bigots in Michele Bachmann's district are @ it again

MichaelColello1
MichaelColello1

@fakedansavage NOTHING says 'christ-loving freedomness' like scourging the queers. Meanwhile, WHAT war?

antwanf1983
antwanf1983

Anoka does it yet again. When is this going to stop?

Kyle Amundson
Kyle Amundson

Thats just mean, I mean who loves parades more than homosexuals?

julieblaha
julieblaha

@Jerm_MN Thanks for the heads up - I didn't realize this was going on. Suprised by the decision, I wonder what they'll say their reason was.

Marc Spencer
Marc Spencer

homophobia is alive and kickin' in bachmann land

Sara Mobrei
Sara Mobrei

I am an Anoka graduate and have been attending the parade my whole life. Never heard of people getting turned down like this, especially groups based within Anoka. Perhaps if they don't get to participate, they should all do the grey ghost run together beforehand. It goes on part of the parade route right before the parade starts, so if they dressed alike, went toward the end and someone carried a sign, they'd at least get some visibility.

stronnes
stronnes

what a heartbreaker.  Just remember Rupar ..   not everyone loves the gays.

 

Jake Helpdesk Olson
Jake Helpdesk Olson

I used to live in Coon Rapids for 10 years growing up, not a great place. I worked in anoka for a couple months, let me tell you.. crackhead/junkie haven. STAY AWAY.

Ben Heath
Ben Heath

they obviously don't want to glamorize death or have anything vaguely suggestive of evil/ satanism in their hallowe'en parade. think of the monsters, ghouls, and witches... totally makes sense

John Saxhaug
John Saxhaug

show up and march anyway damnit. it would be absolutely interesting to see if some bigots physically remove them. march.

Aus Tin Padilla
Aus Tin Padilla

It is all because of what they stand for, and because Anoka sucks sack

Jeff Chase
Jeff Chase

I sure hope they get to march. The petition was written really well. There is no reason they shouldn't be able to march in the parade!

roxy62083
roxy62083

 @antwanf1983 It's not all of us in Anoka.  That's why it can be so frustrating to live here.  

Jerm_MN
Jerm_MN

@julieblaha Article said the parade was already "full".

cori_leuthard
cori_leuthard

@mjcc1987 @corikinns interesting how you know how I vote.

julieblaha
julieblaha

@Jerm_MN To be fair, that parade is extremely long already & gets many applications. It would be interesting to know who else was denied.

mjcc1987
mjcc1987

 @demlova

Amen, you are right. Vote what you say you believe, don't just be appalled at intolerance when you vote for intolerant people.

julieblaha
julieblaha

Interesting take on Justin's Gift Anoka Halloween Parade denial from @Halloween_Honey: http://t.co/YSUUudd4 cc @beth_hawkins @atrupar

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