Fred Sargeant, a co-founder of New York City’s first gay pride parade in 1970, alleged that transgender activists attacked him during a parade in Vermont on Sunday.
The 74-year-old is a prominent gay rights leader who participated in the 1969 Stonewall riots. Sargeant told National Review he attended the pride event in Vermont to protest the transgender movement by holding a sign and handing out pamphlets.
Sargeant said he believes the “gender identity movement” has stolen the “gay liberation movement.” Once a founder of the pride event, he now feels it is “an exclusionary parade and a venue for groups dedicated to discrimination within the same-sex community.”
“The concern I have is that the movement that I knew, the gay liberation movement, has metamorphosized into a gender identity movement that is quite misogynistic, homophobic – values that I can’t share,” Sargeant told National Review.
Sargeant said he no longer recognizes the movement he helped start decades ago.
During the parade, Sargeant held a sign with a red line through the phrases “Black Face” and “Woman Face.” On the reverse side of the sign, it read “Gay, Not Queer.”
“For some reason in society today, while no one would dare go in black face and expect to be taken seriously in the future, drag is celebrated, and I think that’s wrong,” Sargeant argued. “I think it’s disrespectful for women.”
Sargeant reported that as he stood facing the oncoming crowd, an individual approached him and took his sign.
“As best I could on a cane, but with a little adrenaline going, I kind of hobbled after him down the street, got my sign back,” Sargeant told the news outlet.
After retrieving his sign, Sargeant said he returned to where he initially stood and continued silently protesting, but it did not take long for more activists to confront him.
A video posted to Sargeant’s Facebook page showed a woman attempting to rip the sign from his hands. Another parade attendee accused her of assaulting Sargeant, and she replied by accusing him of starting the altercation by elbowing her friend.
Sargeant claimed that during the Vermont pride parade, he was shoved, smacked, and knocked to the ground by radical transgender activists. He also stated that the activists poured coffee on his head and stole his property.
He wrote on Facebook, “So, I went to Pride to protest their misogyny, homophobia, exclusionary policies and divisiveness. I was met by screaming, multiple assaults, ageist comments, shoving, slaps to the back of my head, pouring coffee on me and repeated attempts to steal my signs. Being unsuccessful in their attempts to disrupt my protest and drive me away, the mob pushed me to the ground as the parade ended, further injuring me.”
He accused the trans activists of stealing roughly $600 worth of possessions from him, including a folding chair, umbrella, a box of pamphlets, and a new shirt.
“They put two and two together and took some trophies,” Sargeant told the National Review. He reported that he was sent to the hospital for a CT scan and ultimately sent home to recover from the attack.
According to the National Review, police were notified about the incident twice, but it took nearly three hours to follow up with Sargeant regarding the attack.