By: Avery Corkins
Pride festivals and parades are becoming much more common in the world today.
These events give the LGBTQIA+ community a moment to celebrate their identities in the face of society. Pride parades help to give a clear visual of the broad community that is represented under the acronym LGBTQIA+. These events bring awareness, love, recognition, remembrance, empowerment and much more to the community.
“I hope this shows people that love is love, and there is nothing wrong with that,” said attendee Martha Saley.
The seventh-annual St. Joseph Pride Festival took place on Friday, Sept. 13 with the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. The festival continued on into Saturday with events starting at 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. There was a broad list of things to do and see at the event. Food, art, yoga, live music and more. Contagious smiles flooded the fest throughout the evening.
Friday night, LGBTQIA+ members and supporters walked into the festival with bold strides. This was a night to stand loud and proud and show the world who they are.
Micah Roth, Mr. Gay Pride of Kansas City, gave an insight on how Pride festivals impact many lives in the community.
“It is meeting people that need to know it is okay to be themselves, and you can learn stuff from the elders, you can even learn stuff from the new ones, you can learn stuff from the people who are heterosexual because they are so supportive,” Roth said. “Back in my day, there wasn’t a lot of support. We had to hide it, or we got beat up. Now everything is open and much better.”
The diverse crowd was filled with pride flags of all sorts. The LGBTQIA+ community showed up as well as supporters of the community.
Casey Gallagher, a Pride supporter and member of an organization called Free Mom Hugs, was in attendance on Friday night.
“As a whole, I’m hoping this raises a lot of community awareness about being inclusive of the community and providing support and just bringing a mood of acceptance to this community,” Gallagher said.
St. Joseph Pride was a successful event with a very diverse turnout. This community is taking big steps in LGBTQIA+ support and it will only continue from here.