“We’re just here to have fun and be queer,” says pride fest attendee Stephen Colley.
People from all over Virginia made their way down to Browns Island this weekend on Saturday September, 22 2018 for Pride Fest, an annually held celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Richmond resident Taylor Macon says it’s a way for people that are not apart of the community to see how, what they might imagine as the stereotype of the LGBTQ+ community is not always the reality, as well as to, “get an appreciation and understanding of other peoples lives.”
“I feel like it gets people out of there shell. A lot of people think I dress like this for pride but I dress like this everyday,” said Colley explaining that other people that might not be as adventurous in their dress sees that it's okay to dress and look the way you want.
This free family-friendly event full of vendors, local cuisine, activities, and entertainment was put on by Virginia Pride, an organization that seeks to unite the segmented LGBT communities throughout the Commonwealth.
“It’s important to come out here and show your support for everyone that’s making it easier for you to be who you are,” says Ashley Bewitt another attendee of Saturday’s festivities.
“It allows people who are apart of the LGBTQIA community to come together and celebrate,” says Macon.
Amidst the dividing politics of the country right now, a need for bridging the gaps that divide us are more important than ever. Organizations like VA Pride and the events they hold are the stepping stones to get us to a more equal and understanding society.
Pride Fest attendee Joey D’Amata says he thinks that since Donald Trumps election to to office more people are starting to recognize the negativity in Trump and his policies and that maybe everyone really is the same. “The people they were wanting to put behind walls or put back into a closet have something to offer.”
By bringing people of all backgrounds together in a positive atmospheres like the Pride Fest we as a community can embrace diversity.
Simply put by D’Amato, “We are here to show our pride,” pride for our gender, for our race, our sexuality, for who we are and who we want to be.