Hours after Madison L’Insalata — also known as Miss Staten Island — came out as bisexual, she sais she was banned from taking park in her namesake borough’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
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“It’s really hurtful. Nobody likes to feel rejected from their community,” L’Insalata told CBS News.
According to the director of Miss Staten Island Scholarship Pageants Jim Smith, who informed L’Insalata of her banishment on Saturday night, the expulsion from the parade was directed by organizer Larry Cummings.
Regardless of the ban, L’Insalata attended the parade in a rainbow scarf and a heart sticker. However, she was only allowed to watch the festivities — there could be no participation.
“I am proud of Staten Island and I am proud of the title that I have because I know that myself and all the other girls involved do a lot of really great things for our community,” L’Insalata told CBS News. “So it’s a shame that this really great community event, we ended up not being allowed to be a part of.”
L’Insalata knew that the organizers had made it clear she was not welcome, but Miss Staten Island refused to be held back, stating that she’s trying to spark conversation around inclusion in her community.
“I knew that people would talk about it, and that’s all I wanted. Because the more people that know about it, the more likely it is to change,” L’Insalata told CBS News.
This is not the first time that organizer Cummings has made some controversial exclusions. He has also come under fire for refusing to allow the Pride Center of Staten Island and the Gay Officers Action League of New York (or GOAL) to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade as well.
We here at GO Magazine support Miss Staten Island’s unending support and Pride for the LGBTQ+ community, and we’d like to remind her that she’s always welcome on our Pride float!