Backlash and safety a concern for Naples LGBTQ+ Youth Pride Conference

Published: May 20, 2022 10:24 PM EDT
Updated: May 20, 2022 11:51 PM EDT

Safety is a top concern for the inaugural Youth Pride Conference being hosted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network on Saturday.

WINK News is told the original entertainers raised concerns over their safety after negative media coverage.

GLSEN Collier is an LGBTQ+ advocacy group ready for its first-ever youth pride conference.

“Children need to learn that diversity in society. It’s important,” said Kim Soldberg, a tourist in Naples.

Naples United Church of Christ is opening its doors to 40 to 50 LGBTQ+ students who are expected to attend.

Naples resident Rick Friedfeld said, “They need to talk about the open issues. The fact that they’re having it at a church I think is amazing.”

That said, there has been some backlash and safety concerns.

Naples Police will be on-site to keep any protesters away and people inside safe. That includes performers for the family-friendly drag show.

“It’s a shame,” said Naples resident Keith Bailey. “People ought to be able to do what they want to do within limits and I would say it’s something people should be able to do if they want to.”

Friedfeld says, “everybody can be themselves and you know, it is what it is and you know what? This is 2022 and people need to get with it.”