Bomb squad called after Straight Pride group mailed ‘suspicious substance,’ but it’s just glitter

Massachusetts State Police bomb squad, the FBI and fire departments were called when organisers of Boston’s Straight Pride parade received envelopes filled with a “granular” substance, which turned out to be glitter.

The group known as Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) called 911 on Monday (July 1) after being sent three envelopes filled with no return address. Inside each were bible passages and a substance which police later confirmed was coloured glitter.

The FBI said there was no immediate threat to the public.

SHFA leader John Hugo said it was an act of “terrorism,” while the group’s treasurer Samson Racioppi described the recipients as “victims.”

“I wouldn’t wish this for anyone,” he told TPM, adding that the letters led to a “big scene” and complained that the ordeal was a “huge inconvenience.”

Straight Pride will go ahead on August 31

The group has received hate mail since they announced the Straight Pride parade last month.

SHFA said the glitter incident would not deter them from holding the parade on August 31 in Boston.

They claim: “Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement and hate.”

On their website SHFA demand “the same parade route as the Boston Pride Parade [and] the same accommodations given for the LGBTQ+ parade,” including street closures and permission for parade floats.

The group have designed their own flags and logos, featuring male and female symbols, ahead of the march.

Many of the group’s organisers have links to far-right figures, and the founder of the march, Mark Sahady, is also the leader of the Boston chapter of Resist Marxism.

Sparkly protests

Glitter bombing has become a popular form of protest for LGBT+ advocates, and in recent years several anti-LGBT+ conservatives such as Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have been showered with the sparkly substance.

“Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate,” said one protester as he emptied a box of glitter over Gingrich and his wife.

Anti-gay lawmakers in Texas have warned of the health and safety risk posed by glitter, arguing that it is technically a form of assault and battery.

But in 2017, some liberal churches in the US began using glitter as a sign of LGBT-inclusivity by mixing it with holy ashes on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.