Clowns are scary. That is the consensus of many in the United States who have been creeped-out by the recent spate of clown sightings–most of which are intended by their perpetrators to be unnerving.
Yet there’s a centuries old tradition of clowning that has nothing at all to do with inciting fear or panic, and that is why a group in Tucson, Arizona is organizing the first ever “Clown Lives Matter” march for October 15th.
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The event is generating its fair share of controversy. While the march could be a great opportunity for coulrophobics to face their fears directly, the name of the march has angered those who feel like adding the “Lives Matter” phrase to a celebration of clowns belittles the Black Lives Matter movement.
Clowns have been popping up in non-circus ways frequently of late. People dressed as clowns began appearing in late-night images and on security camera footage. These scary clown images went viral, inspiring many copycats.
Why do so many find clowns to be terrifying? Movies and comic books are contributing factors, though psychologists believe these characters are popular character choices and are derived from the phobia. Yet real-life clown killers, like John Wayne Gacy–who was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys–certainly did nothing to abate the nation’s collective coulrophobia.
The “Clown Lives Matter” march will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15 in Tucson. Attendees are invited to show up wearing full clown makeup or masks.
An event flyer declares “this is a peaceful way to show clowns are not psycho killers. We want the public to feel safe, and not be afraid. So come out, bring the family, meet a clown and get a hug!”
Coulrophobia or no, there is a significant chance that this event won’t go unnoticed.