APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – On Friday, Local 5 told you about a controversial billboard in Appleton that many in the community thought should be taken down because of its insensitive language.
On Saturday, protesters took to the streets and voiced their concerns.
Sommer Loar says she organized this protest because “I am a queer person in the Fox Cities and having to drive past a sign that says that word was awful.” Loar adds that she doesn’t want people who belong and support the LGBTQ community to cower to homophobia.
Alexandria Black, a protester says, “I think it’s really important to be who we are and be able to stand up to this sort of thing and being part of the queer community, that’s something that really kind of hit home for me and so I just wanted to come out and show other people that they’re not alone and that they can be heard and seen.”
Rachel Stone, a protester says, “I’m only 27 but I feel like I’ve been fighting this my whole life and I feel like I need to continue to fight this hate.”
Jaimie Boyce, the author of the original post has since replaced the slur with a new message because, “I just did that another thing to show that I’m not talking about people, and I’m not racist and I’m not homophobic.”
Even though that message has changed protesters say theirs haven’t. Kristin Alfhiem, Alderperson for District 11 says, “The message out here is there’s no place for that. Jamie Boyce actually lives in my District and I just tried to help him understand the word itself is offensive and you’d have to live under a rock not to understand that.”
Loar says, “If he [Jaimie Boyce] has no hate for the community then maybe he should listen to us and figure out why that sign was hateful.” Protestors say seeing the city’s sign reassures them that Appleton is a city of love and acceptance.