Tens of thousands flocked to Piedmont Park last weekend to celebrate the 40th year of Atlanta Pride and were greeted with clear skies and warm weather, perfect for lying on the grass and listening to music, marching and circling the marketplace for free swag.
For organizers, this year was also one that desperately needed to go well.
“It was a really, really good Pride,” said James Parker Sheffield, executive director of Atlanta Pride, reflecting on the Oct. 9-10 festival. “Atlanta had been needing that. I was really glad we could deliver.”
Fresh off the 40th year of Atlanta Pride comes another gay favorite festival and parade with the Little 5 Points Halloween celebration Friday and Saturday.
The fest opens Friday from 5-10 p.m. with live music, outdoor beverage vendors as well as promotions from neighborhood restaurants and stores.
An organizer of the event, Brian Baj, who is openly gay, says this year is especially queer friendly and includes “tranny sensation” Jayne County performing on Saturday.
The Atlanta Pride Committee announced the grand marshals for the 2010 Pride Parade today via a press release. Some 120 honorees will represent three categories (40 in each category) symbolizing Atlanta Pride’s 40 years.
The three categories are Legislative, Education and Community.
“As much as this is an opportunity to honor selected individuals, it is also an opportunity to provide our patrons a visual of how expansive our movement really is, and to see that there are a vast number of people working on their behalf,” said JP Sheffield, Atlanta Pride Executive Director, in the press release.
Hundreds of LGBT persons and their allies gathered in downtown Savannah last weekend for the city’s Pride festival.
The Queer Power March was organized by Jesse Morgan and Laura Cahill and was the first LGBT march in Savannah's history. The march was held Friday, Sept. 10, and Pride was held on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Grammy winner Thelma Houston closed out the stage for Augusta Pride on June 19, but there was one more inspiring moment awaiting the hundreds who withstood the withering heat to be there for the festival’s finale.
As Augusta Pride organizers took the microphone to thank attendees and celebrate the success of the city’s first-ever gay Pride, a faint rainbow arched across the sky.
“That was like a sign from God,” Augusta Pride President Isaac Kelly said.
Some 41 years ago this weekend, a ragtag group of gay street youth, drag queens, dykes and transgender people fought back against a police raid at New York City’s Stonewall Inn.
The 1969 uprising is widely viewed as launching the modern gay rights movement, igniting a more radical approach than the fledgling “homophile” movement that was already quietly underway.
By the next June, cities began hosting rallies and celebrations to mark the anniversary of Stonewall, creating the Gay Pride events that continue to this day.