Mylinda Mason is one of the organisers of a Straight Pride rally that is set to take place in Modesto, California, on August 24.
However, she is facing opposition from an unlikely source – her own son.
Matthew Mason, 28, has organised a pro-LGBT candlelight vigil to oppose the planned event, explaining to the Modesto Bee: “We don’t want hate in Modesto. I am making sure Modesto is not a place for hate speech.”
Mason explained to the outlet that he was rejected by his family when he came out as gay at 19, and has been estranged from his mother for several years.
He said: “They believe Western Civilization should be straight, white and Christian with a very specific gender binary. They believe this should be a culture war. It’s rhetoric I’ve heard my whole life.”
Mason also expressed concerns that other organisers have links to the far-right Proud Boys group, branding the event “white supremacy masquerading as straight pride.”
He is urging the local council to reject an application to hold the Straight Pride event, adding: “I am all for free speech, I am not for free speech when it incites violence.
“I am working with my community to provide spaces for us to work together and utilise our right to public discourse to provide safety, diversity and love in our city.”
Speaking to the same outlet, Mylinda Mason said it was “heartbreaking” to be estranged from her son, adding: “Any parent feels this way.”
Addressing the event, she said:”[The] intolerance does not come from our side.
“We are more than happy to see they are going to have a candlelight vigil. We are not happy they are going to try to shut down our side and deny us peaceable assembly.
“It’s obvious we have two opposing views. It’s the other side that wants the opposing view shut down. It’s not our side.”