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'Recovering Bigot' Gives Free Hugs & Apologies At Denver Pride

'Recovering Bigot' Gives Free Hugs & Apologies At Denver Pride

'Recovering Bigot' Gives Free Hugs & Apologies At Denver Pride
@Ooh_lalaliva/TikTok

The man aimed to make amends for the wrongs he’s committed against the LGBTQ+ community in the past.

@andrewjstillman

A heartwarming scene unfolded at Denver's Pride parade in Colorado on Sunday (27 June), as a self-proclaimed "recovering bigot" garnered praise for spreading love through free hugs.

Adorned with a rainbow garland, the man held a sign that read, "Recovering bigot. I am sorry. Free hugs."

His actions were captured on TikTok, where users celebrated his courage and willingness to confront his past discriminatory beliefs.

"To own up to your discriminatory beliefs and say: 'I hear you, I see you, and I'm sorry,' is top tier. Everyone could learn something here," expressed a TikTok user, touched by the man's gesture.

Many others shared that they, too, had previously held anti-LGBTQ+ views and found the man's display of support inspiring. One person even welcomed him to "the good side."

A photograph of the man's sign gained attention on Twitter, where a user highlighted the significance of Pride as an opportunity to make amends. In response, a man tweeted out about the church, saying Pride month is “a perfect opportunity to work out one’s confession of repentance muscles” by making “flesh-on-flesh amends with the children of God he once maligned.”

Denver's Pride parade held particular significance this year as it was the first since a devastating mass shooting occurred at the LGBTQ+ bar Club Q in Colorado Springs last November, where the shooter pleaded guilty. Survivors of the shooting were honored as grand marshals, symbolizing their resilience and strength. Michael Anderson, a bartender from Club Q, expressed his belief that the event would be a "beautiful display" showcasing the community's determination to fight back and refuse to live in fear.

The Pride parade drew an impressive crowd with a reported 500,000 people in attendance. The actions of the "recovering bigot" served as a poignant example of personal growth and the potential for change in promoting acceptance and understanding.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Andrew J. Stillman

Contributing Writer for Pride.com

Andrew J. Stillman is a freelance writer and yoga instructor exploring the world. Check him out at andrewjstillman.com or follow him @andrewjstillman on all the things.

Andrew J. Stillman is a freelance writer and yoga instructor exploring the world. Check him out at andrewjstillman.com or follow him @andrewjstillman on all the things.