Fact check: Gay pride parade controversy isn't what it seems - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fact check: Gay pride parade controversy isn't what it seems


This weekend members of the gay community will gather in Wausau. They'll participate in what's called a "March for Equality."

They will not take part in what was called a "Gay Pride Parade." That event was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but it was canceled.

News of this cancellation has attracted widespread attention. Media outlets across the country have posted a report—not from Newsline 9—saying the parade was canceled because of a "backlash of ugliness" from the community. People across the world have tweeted about it.

It's true, there was some ugliness earlier. David Nutting, Wausau city councilman, made some controversial comments about the parade and the people who were going to take part.

"I ask that all residents stay away from the parade, or if you do go, stand with your back to the parade of deviant behaving individuals," said Nutting at last Tuesday's city council meeting.

People came forward to debate those comments. But that conversation quickly faded, and another issue emerged—who's behind this parade?

Members of the gay community quickly distanced themselves from it. Instead, they organized the alternative "March for Equality."

Newsline 9 investigated. According to city records, the gay pride parade organizer's name is Daxx Bouvier. But there are no records of him living or working here in central Wisconsin. Even an Internet search pulls up an odd biography saying Daxx Bouvier's year of birth is unknown, and that he lives in Granite Peak, Wisconsin—obviously not a real town.

We've tried to find this Daxx Bouvier. Last week we met a man claiming to be his friend. He asked to be identified as David Blake. We then took his picture around to business owners who posted fliers for the gay pride parade.

And guess what...

"Oh, that's Daxx, that's the guy who came in here and said I'm Daxx Bouvier," said Patti Kittel, owner of PeepShine Children's Clothing, when we showed her the picture.

Multiple other people have also told us Blake goes around claiming to be Daxx Bouvier.

No evidence exists that Daxx Bouvier is a real person. So the question is, why organize a parade under a phony name, only to cancel it at the last minute?

A man claiming to be Daxx Bouvier called Newsline 9 Thursday to give us an answer.

"We just thought about the safety of people participating in the parade of their safety and best interest," he said.

Okay, that's the story that's out there right now. But Wausau city leaders say gay pride parade organizers still owed money to the city and hadn't provided proof of insurance.

So was it really canceled because of safety concerns and a community backlash? Or was it called off because the circumstances surrounding it were a hoax to begin with?

Everything we've uncovered leads us to believe the man identified as David Blake is also Daxx Bouvier. Newsline 9's Cassandra Vinch even asked the man claiming to be Bouvier that question on Thursday.

"Are you David Blake?" Vinch asked him.

"No, why would I say I am David Blake?" he responded.

Yet Daxx Bouvier has no picture. He won't talk to us on camera. Even his Facebook page is a mystery.

So was the gay pride parade canceled because of a community backlash? We can't find any evidence to support that.

This isn't about the issue of being gay. Let's be clear. It's about someone taking a fake name, planning an event that raised questions from the start, and trying to blame the people of Wausau for not being open enough.

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