Clyde gives rainbow skivvies to mayor
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Mayor Paul Woodson smiled when Clyde presented him with rainbow underwear Tuesday at the City Council meeting.
“Wear them with pride,” said Clyde, an artist who uses one name.
Woodson earlier this month declined to proclaim June 23 as Pride Day for gays and lesbians. Rainbow colors are used to symbolize gay pride.
Clyde said he was asked by people he would not identify to give Woodson the boxer shorts and read the mission statement for the city’s Human Relations Council, which includes hospitality, inclusiveness and an appreciation of diversity.
Unlike former Mayor Susan Kluttz, Woodson has said he would not endorse Pride Day because he considers it divisive.
The gift was an “attempt at reconciliation,” Clyde said.
“I hope it will be used in support of your effort to grow and become a better person and hopefully meet with these people in the future,” he said.
Woodson accepted the gift. He did not mention Salisbury Pride, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the South Lee Street parking lot, in the mayor’s announcements.
Last year, the event attracted more than 2,000 people, as well as dozens of protestors.
Clyde is known for underwear stunts. Two years ago, he displayed a pair of men’s size 2X briefs in the window of his Council Street shop and called it art.
He had a local arts leader charged with larceny after she swiped the skivvies. She was later acquitted.
Clyde also strung a clothesline of boxers and briefs outside his shop and dubbed it “underwear alley.”
After Clyde’s presentation to Woodson, City Manager Doug Paris asked if he could move to the next items on the agenda.
“I will make sure I keep them brief,” Paris quipped.