Pride — with its messages of love, acceptance and self-expression — is a sham, according to conservative gay rights activist Brandon Straka.
The 42-year-old Harlem hairdresser said the gay community turned its back on him once the former “diehard liberal” — who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 — switched to the Republican Party.
According to a complaint filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court and exclusively obtained by The Post, the LGBT Center in Greenwich Village discriminated against Straka by canceling his 250-person WalkAway event “LGBT TownHall” in March, days before it was scheduled to take place.
The event was to feature Straka and a panel of two gay men and a transgender woman talking about why they left the Democratic Party.
“I’m considered a traitor. [The community] wanted to silence me, they wanted to roll over me and make me disappear,” said Straka, who is seeking $20 million in damages.
He alleges that the LGBT Center caved to pressure from liberal activists who, Straka said, “mounted a smear campaign.” Some 280 people signed an open letter to the center, demanding that the event be canceled. The letter refers to Straka and his panelists as “racist” and “transphobic.” (One of the panelists, Rob Smith, is black.)
Straka left the Democrats in 2017 after growing “fed up with the liberal-media lies,” he said.
That year, “Rachel Maddow said on Twitter she had [President Trump’s] tax returns — a smoking gun — and to tune in that night. I said to myself, ‘OK, if she really has the smoking gun against Trump, I’ll forget about all the negative feelings I have about the liberal media and Democratic Party.’
“Finally, at the end of her show, she produced two pieces of paper from 2005 that showed he paid his taxes. That was the moment I decided I’m no longer a liberal or Democrat. That was the final straw for me,” Straka said.
“By the end of 2017 I embraced Trump, and by 2018 I registered as a Republican.”
He founded the WalkAway campaign, which encourages voters of all stripes to leave the Democratic Party, in May 2018.
Straka, who is dating a fellow conservative, said he learned his WalkAway event was canceled by reading the news on the LGBT Center’s website.