PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — June is Pride month — a time for celebration for members of the LGBTQ community but while many people prepare for Sunday’s Pride Parade, one mom said her family almost missed this year’s event after feeling targeted online.
Mom Michelle Porter said she is sad and upset to be dealing with this at a time when she should be focused on celebrating and supporting her kids for who they are.
It doesn’t take long to see how Sparkle shines when talking about performing.
“It brings me a smile and a lot of other people a smile and I love seeing smiles,” the 10-year-old said.
Porter said she always knew.
“From birth when they were little, we called them our sparkly boy,” Porter said.
Sparkle started performing two years ago, after attending a drag show and hasn’t stopped — even taking the stage Friday at a fundraiser for LGBTQ youth.
“I need to do this,” Sparkle said. “All the cool outfits, lip singing and all that.”
“That’s what you want for your kids,” Porter said. “You want them to feel like they belong somewhere. You want them to feel validated and not alone — that is terrible.”
The family has received a lot of support but that changed this month after backlash on social media.
“There’s been so many comments about how I should be beaten to death, I should lose my children,” Porter said.
But it’s comments directed at Sparkle that made Porter fear to take her family out in public for this weekend’s Pride celebrations.
“But this is a 10-year-old whose face is being plastered on hateful sites with terrible things being said,” she said. “It was shocking, it was heartbreaking, it made me really sad.”
The support from the LGBTQ community, Porter said they will not allow anyone to dim Sparkle’s light.
She said there has been so much love and support, she feels like “everybody is watching out for us.”
“It would be far more traumatic for this child to force them out of this,” Porter said. “It would be so sad for me to take this away from them. I’m not forcing them to do anything, this is who they are, this is how they want to express themselves in the world and it’s beautiful and there is nothing wrong with it.”