A month ago, my son was putting together a promo ad for his Runaways 2 Digital Drag Show, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend seeing it. Click here to watch! I always do what I can to help promote anything that Chase is working on because we like to help our kids, right?.

I placed his promotional ad on my Instagram and Facebook accounts. The announcement is a video of Chase dressed in drag, sitting in a jacuzzi, explaining when and where to see his upcoming show. I have sent out his promos before, and I usually get a great, positive response. Sometimes, I will get an adverse reaction, someone opposing what he does. With this recent promo, I received a disturbing response.

Can you believe in this day and age, that someone could be so disgusting? I know there are a lot of haters in the world but this is pretty abrupt!

After seeing this response, I was outraged and frustrated. I thought to myself, how can someone be so awful and mean, this person doesn’t even know my son? I wanted to respond in a very aggressive way, basically just “fuck off.” My son gave me a very different perspective on how to deal with anti-LGBTQ people. Here is a one on one interview with my son Chase.

Interview with Chase

Chase Ingrande-Chaserunaway

ME: Chase, someone wrote a terrible response to the promo ad I put on Instagram.

CHASE: Yeah, they did. Not exactly what you’re expecting to receive when you’re advertising a show you’ve been working on all day every day. Not precisely the target demographic for the show!

ME: How do you not get upset and offended?

CHASE: When you first read the comment, if anything, you’re mostly shocked that a human being assembled those words with the intent to hurt another person. When I think about that, I have several options for responding. You can get angry and say, “go fuck yourself,” you can ignore it and block it, or you can take away the power of their words by being silly with it. This person’s mission was to hurt me, and it would’ve been a more significant offense to myself if I let their words affect me in any sort of negative way. So I put his words on a t-shirt and started selling them, and the proceeds go to The Trevor Project, which acts as a resource center for LGBTQ+ youth considering suicide. Their words became a positive force, and that’s the best response.

ME: What other situations have you been in recently where someone has offended you for being gay?

CHASE: I’m lucky enough to not receive offense day-to-day for being gay. But it’s super unfortunate to live in the year 2020 when as a society, we’ve come to accept the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, I know for a fact that the President of the United States, and his complacent supporters, don’t believe we should have equal rights. He thinks we should be allowed to be fired from our jobs because we’re gay, or have denied access to medical resources because we’re gay. No online comment can hurt me compared to the people in power who are supposed to be protecting every citizen of this country but instead sees us as sub-human.

ME: It is Pride month, why is this so important to you?

CHASE: Pride month is positive and negative for me. Why do we confine Pride for our community within 30 days? What I don’t love about it is seeing big corporations turn their logo rainbow for a month, or have Target sell clothes covered in rainbows with the intent for us to gobble that shit up, and then it all goes away for the 4th of July. It’s unfortunately turned into something that has very little to do with self-expression and “pride.” It’s the same issue I have with Black History confining to February. Thankfully, Pride this year has become an extension of the Black Lives Matter movement, so Pride this year is returning to its roots as a form of protest and confronting the injustices our communities face.

ME: As a mother and an LGBTQ+ advocate, what can I tell people who may be uncomfortable with this topic?

CHASE: What’s been great about quarantine is it’s given people a lot of time to think inward and think introspectively. If someone told me they were uncomfortable discussing LGBTQ+ issues, I would want to ask why? Because that awkward person most likely has a person in their life who is LGBTQ+. They probably care about this LGBTQ+ person and want them to have all the same privileges and rights as anyone else. It doesn’t seem like an uncomfortable conversation anymore.

ME: What ended up happening with the guy who sent you the comment?

CHASE: Well, after messing with him for a little while, we got to the root of why this person was so angry and upset with me. It turns out he thought my show had children in it, and many of these conservatives believe that all gays are pedophiles and that we’re trying to corrupt the children. Classic. When I told him there were no kids in my show to be found, he said that was fine and that he’ll try to catch the show. So that’s a win, AND a lose, I guess?

I wanted to talk about this experience I had because it is PRIDE month!! What is Pride Month? Pride Month is an annual observance held during the entire month of June to remember the June 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York, that served to launch the LGBTQ rights movement in America. Not only is it historically significant, but it’s also a chance for us to honor diversity while uplifting our LGBTQ friends and family by showing them (and the world) our support. It is a time that the LGBTQ communities come together to celebrate the freedom to be themselves!!

Since we cannot celebrate at and actual parade this year, there are many ways to celebrate Pride month.

Ways to celebrate PRIDE

Teach the alphabet while celebrating LGBTQ
  1. Teach love and acceptance to your children -It is essential to have age-appropriate discussions with your children. There are great books for young children that you can get.
  2. Become an LGBTQ advocate-Show your support for the LGBTQ community.  Attend a virtual pride event this year, June 27-28. San Francisco has an online production. Go to SF Pride 2020 and show your support by logging on to see performances, celebrity greetings, DJ sets, and more. 
  3. Wear rainbow gear– a great way to show your support is to wear your rainbow clothing. Pride gear is available at many retailers (even better) from independent, queer-owned businesses. You can also do fun art projects with your kids. Go on Pinterest to find colorful project ideas.
Pride gear at Target

Final thoughts

I am so proud of my son and the “Queer” man that he is. He has taught me not to come down to the level of uneducated, ignorant people. When I could have gone back and forth with this person on Instagram using not such kind words, I responded with the help of my son. And guess what? This person ended up apologizing for their actions!!