A senator's victim-blaming comments sparked a tutu-powered protest in Wyoming.

People across Wyoming are living up to its 'Equality State' nickname.

"I know a guy who wears a tutu and goes to bars on Friday night and is always surprised that he gets in fights. Well, he kind of asks for it," said Senator Mike Enzi.

"That's the way that he winds up with that kind of problem," the four-term Wyoming senator continued, responding to a question from a local student about his views on LGBTQ rights on April 20.

As one might expect, Sen. Enzi's statements secured him some major blowback from LGBTQ individuals, allies, and just about anyone who thinks that what outfit you wear determines whether or not you "ask for" assault.


Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Across Wyoming, people responded in the best way possible.

They donned tutus of their own and headed out to their local bars in a powerful statement of solidarity.

Yes, there is a man from Wyoming who wears tutus and dresses in his daily life. His name is Sissy Goodwin (pictured in the tweet above), a former rodeo cowboy and aircraft mechanic and probably the man Sen. Enzi was referring to. And, yes, Goodwin has been physically assaulted because he likes to wear dresses and tutus.

Wearing dresses and tutus is just part of who Goodwin is. He's not harming anybody, and he's certainly not "asking for" assault.

In droves, people turned out at Wyoming bars wearing tutus.

You gotta admit — it's pretty cool to see people come to his defense (and that of anyone else who eschews gender norms) in person and on social media in response to Enzi's remarks.

Wyoming may be known for things like cowboys and rugged masculinity — but it's also known as the Equality State, and this protest shows why.

"When LGBTQ Wyomingites are faced with discrimination, harassment and violence, we’re 'not asking for it,'" Wyoming Equality wrote on its website. "All Wyomingites deserve respect and dignity and to feel safe in our state — no matter what they’re wearing at a bar."

Because being bi isn't a phase. ❤ #LiveAndLetTutu #NormalizeTutus

A post shared by sara elizabeth ☀️ (@twigott) on

Lander's operation tutu! Love this town!!! #operationtutu #liveandlettutu #normalizetutu

A post shared by Liz Hardwick (@lizard_wick) on

Enzi has apologized for his statement, but when it comes to protecting LGBTQ rights, his voting record tells a pretty clear story.

As they say, actions speak louder than words.

As senator, Enzi has voted time and again against pro-LGBTQ measures (including votes against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act — Shepard, who was tortured and murdered for being gay in 1998, was from Wyoming — and against the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization). Additionally, he's introduced legislation that would make it legal to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples seeking to adopt children.

For the past two sessions of Congress, Enzi has received a score of 0 from the Human Rights Campaign, and in 2014, he was named to the group's "Hall of Shame."

The fact that people in reportedly the most conservative state in the country are ready to take a stand in the name of equality and LGBTQ rights is a major reason to smile.

Red states, blue states, and everywhere in between — there are good people doing good things across the nation and across the political spectrum.

If there's a silver lining to Enzi's clumsy and unfortunate remarks, it's that it gave the rest of the country a chance to see just how great the people of Wyoming can be.

#wyomingasfuck #liveandlettutu

A post shared by Robert Kirkwood (@mr_kirkwood) on

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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