T-shirtThis weekend Atlanta will host one of the largest LBGT Pride events in the country.  More than a half million people will come to town to enjoy the festival and Parade. The weather has been ordered, and it looks PERFECT!

Atlanta Pride is 43 years young, and one of the very first cities to march or rally for Rights and Dignity. Those early marchers couldn’t get a permit but that hardly stopped them. Now a red carpet is rolled out to welcome and encourage folks to attend. The long list of festivities can be found here.

Traditionally Pride was held in June to commemorate the Stonewall Protest. However in 2009 it was rescheduled to October for a host  reasons and then in 2010 was officially scheduled to coincide with  National Coming Out Day. This year is the 25th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, October 11th.  Explaining the October date to friends around the country is usually summed up in one word, weather. Did I mention this weekends weather looks marvelous!

Two hundred groups will be Marching on Sunday, with Honorary Grand Marshals Daniel Hernandez  Jr, Del Shores and Dallas County Sheriff  Lupe Valdez. For those of you who wonder how Congressman John Lewis always gets a sweet space up front, in addition always being a staunch supporter of the community, he sponsored one of the first Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights Bills in 1975. He didn’t have to “evolve” he was muther f’ing already THERE!

Members of this blogging community have marched, worked booths, raised money and supported the Equality community for many years. This year we will March together behind the Democratic Party of Georgia’s LBGT Caucus banner along with a number of candidates. You’ll know us when you spot Catherine’s nifty lime green convertible VW bug.  If you’d like to join us on Sunday October 13th, we will be assembling in staging area E beginning about 10:30 am. Parade step off is 1:00. Organizations in the contingent are: DPG LBGT Caucus, The Young Democrats of Georgia, Stonewall Caucus, Georgia Stonewall Democrats, College Democrats and many friends and allies.

If you are attending the festival, please stop by our booth G53, volunteers will be there both days 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. We will have information and of course buttons!

Volunteers for any of these activities are very much appreciated, you can sign up here. 

I’m often asked how I, an old straight married gal, ended up in this fight. It’s a long story but suffice to say I first attended Pride events in NYC in the early 80′s and there was  very little to celebrate at that time. In those days it was far less “Happy Pride”rather more anger to be found. I went to more “die ins’ than parties and the grim reality of those days  is still with me. It’s certainly with me when I hear our Governor fail to expand Medicaid to cover adults living with HIV/AIDS, or when hate crimes like this occur.

 

2 Responses to Happy Atlanta Pride Week!

  1. Tim Cairl says:

    Lest we forget why Oct 11 is also National Coming Out Day –

    “On the night of October 6–7, 1998, Shepard met Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson at the Fireside Lounge in Laramie, Wyoming.[7][8] It was decided that McKinney and Henderson would give Shepard a ride home.[9] McKinney and Henderson subsequently drove the car to a remote, rural area and proceeded to rob, pistol-whip, and torture Shepard, tying him to a fence and leaving him to die. According to their court testimony, McKinney and Henderson also discovered his address and intended to steal from his home. Still tied to the fence, Shepard, who was still alive but in a coma, was discovered 18 hours later by Aaron Kreifels, a cyclist who initially mistook Shepard for a scarecrow.[10]

    Reggie Fluty, the first police officer on the scene, found Shepard alive but covered in blood. The medical gloves issued by the Albany County Sheriff’s Department were faulty and Fluty’s supply ran out. She decided to use her bare hands to clear an airway in Shepard’s bloody mouth. A day later, she was informed that Shepard was HIV positive and that she had been exposed because of cuts on her hands. After taking an AZT regimen for several months, she proved not to have been infected.[11] Judy Shepard later wrote she learned of Matthew’s HIV status during his stay at the hospital following the attack.[12]

    Shepard had suffered fractures to the back of his head and in front of his right ear. He experienced severe brainstem damage, which affected his body’s ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature, and other vital functions. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face, and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. While he lay in intensive care, and in the days following the attack, candlelight vigils were held around the world.[13][14][15]

    Shepard was pronounced dead at 12:53 a.m. on October 12, 1998, at Poudre Valley Hospital, in Fort Collins, Colorado.[16][17][18][19] He was 21 years old.[7]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard

  2. Tim Cairl says:

    Looking forward to another fun day on Sunday! See you at the parade.