Boise Pride Festival 2018
June is Pride month — the perfect time to celebrate diversity!
by Chelsea Chambers
So what exactly is Pride? And how did it get started?
The first Gay Pride Parade was held in New York on June 28, 1970. It was a march for equality and was held on the year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, where several members of the gay community were attacked by police during unprovoked raids. This event is the catalyst to much of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) Movement. It was a brutal and violent series of strikes against the gay community, and this brought national attention to the issue. Since then, more and more festivals, movements, parades, and groups are forming–both within members of the LGBTQ community and non–to help fight for equality in love and humanity that everyone deserves. No one should be persecuted based on who they chose to love. No one should be persecuted for being themselves. And thus, Pride was born.
And Boise quickly joined the ranks. Since 1989, Boise Pride has been a serious supporter of the national cause and it is estimated that last year, over 35,000 people attended the Festival and its events. That’s no small feat! According to the Boise’s Pride’s webpage, our beautiful city is rank as one of the top three small-town Pride Festivals. And we want to see those numbers growing!
In an interview with Alex Milles, the Community Outreach Coordinator, I found out a lot more about Pride here in Boise and some of the events to look for this month!
Alex told me that they had a lot of feedback from the last Pride Fest to have more activities that were child-oriented. So this year, Pride is teaming up with Mama Dragons to create the Child and Family Center of the Festival, as well as several other kid-friendly activities.
They are also featuring their first ever art installation–The Diversity Tree! Symbolic of our beautiful City of Trees, the Diversity Tree is a portrayal of unity, harmony, and acceptance. Each color of the rainbow serves as a different representation of peoples’ specific sexual orientations. It shows diversity and helps teach acceptance, as we each hold different values and orientations. And, here’s the big part, that is okay. The Diversity Tree can be found in Cecil D. Andrus Park and everyone is invited to share their colors! Whether you are: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, queer, questioning, intersex, an ally, asexual, pansexual, or however you identify, the Diversity Tree is the perfect way to show both the differences and similarities between us, but most importantly, to teach acceptance of all people. So grab your color and paint the tree with love and diversity!
When asked about Boise Pride, Alex has this to say, “I’m honored to be a part of the behind scenes at making the rainbow happen for Boise Pride Festival this year. Boise Pride Festival’s mission is celebrating the rainbow and above all promoting unity. We believe we can find more answers together than we can apart. We are proud to have served the special and diverse rainbow community for the past 29 years. Let’s make 2018 about accepting what makes us different and finding the values we both share and love. ”
To kick off the Boise Pride Festival, there is an opening event at Amsterdam Lounge on Thurday June 14. The evening features Steve Grand for a VIP meet and greet. Steve Grant is a gay country-pop artist that will be hanging out all night before he performs on Friday June 15! The meet and greet is a VIP event and only 50 tickets will be sold!
On Friday, music and booths open at 4 pm in Cecil D. Andrus Park. There is also a show at the Egyptian Theatre from 7 to 9 pm featuring Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio. Stick around to hear the performance by Steve Grand at the Wells Fargo Main Stage!
And then on Saturday June 16, things get going a little earlier with a 9 am Rally at the Capitol Steps. Followed by the 10 am Rainbow Parade! Also, Sasha Velour will be performing at 3:30! There is a VIP meet and greet with Sasha as well, tickets available here.
As if there weren’t enough to keep you busy all weekend long, Boise Pride wraps things up with JACKED! A mind-blowing dance party! The event is 18 + and tickets can be found here. You don’t want to miss this!
I know that was a lot of exciting information to take in at once, but Boise Pride has you covered with their 2018 Pride Guide.
I personally am so proud to live in a city that cares about diversity, love, and acceptance. The best way to spread the message of love is to get out and be a part of events like these, to be an advocate, to be an ally, and a supporter of all sexual preferences, orientations, pronouns, and beliefs.
By standing together, we can create a world that is more loving and more accepting. The first step is to get involved. And lucky for us, getting involved with Boise Pride just happens to be jam-packed with music, food, fun, and excitement!