I was, sadly, unable to attend this years Pride Parade for the first time in years. Wonderful writer, and friend, Samantha Nephew, contributed this wonderful piece to QCLA! (check out her blog at www.SamanthaNephewBlog.wordpress.com )
"This last Sunday, Buffalo was out in full force showing some pride.
Pride Festival of Buffalo, sponsored by the Pride Center of Western New
York, is an annual festival that aims to spread awareness of issues in
the Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered, Bisexual, Queer (or Questioning)
communities while allowing these individuals to show Western New York
that they are in fact fearless.
This year’s theme to the
weekend-long celebration was fearless. The theme honors to those who
before being part of the LGBT community was socially acceptable to stand
up against prejudice. Fearless honors those people who were willing to
buck the idea that being different meant something was inherently wrong
with a person.
Fearlessness in showing pride not only
represents and honors those who have come from before, but those who
need inspiration and the courage to be true to who they really are.
to the Pride Festival website, fearless also represents “…the Dean of
the Law School at the University at Buffalo who was awarded the Mwongozi
Award by Kenya’s National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission for
speaking out for equality and non-discrimination and challenging
negative attitudes and actions…”
Pride is a celebration of achievement, awareness, and growing acceptance of the LBGT community.
And they showed their pride in style.
Western New York organizations came together in support of our LGBT
community as they sponsored floats, handed out beads, candy, and
brochures; sold food and merchandise, and took to the stage at the
festival’s capstone event, held at Canalside.
like Bank of America, Gates Circle Liquor, Univera, and MetLife were in
attendance showing full support for the LGBTQ community down Elmwood
Avenue for the Pride Parade. LGBT-focused groups like The MOCHA Center,
Roxy’s, Buffalo Gay Man’s Chorus, and the Gay & Lesbian Youth
Services (GLYS) were also present with members of their organizations
relishing in the support offered by the crowd as they made their way to
Pride Weekend also has a 5K race, a beach
day, Dyke March, and a flag raising ceremony. Rainbow flags decorate the
street lamps of Elmwood Avenue and local businesses often dress their
storefronts in rainbow colors in a show of support.
an ardent supporter of the greater LGBTQ community, I am always so
excited to see the events of the weekend unfold. I watched as a group of
young boys, no older than nine years old, enthusiastically showing
their support by yelling “Happy Pride”
to the parade
participants. It warmed my heart to see such a show of acceptance by
young men who understand that there is nothing inherently wrong with
people who are LGBTQ. People are people, and this is what Buffalo
I am proud that Buffalonians, LGBTQ or straight, are all fearless in our acceptance of each other."