Reach out and make connections with one another
It’s been a while since I’ve posted something.
For the past few months I’ve been busy working with organizers to plan Claremont’s first-ever Rural PRIDE celebration, and on Saturday our big day was here! Rural PRIDE was the brain child of 15-year-old Skylar Ford, a first-year student at Stevens High School. After taking a trip to Portsmouth PRIDE last year, Skylar thought to himself, “why not Claremont?” So, at a Rural Outright planning potluck in December he suggested the idea and Rural Outright volunteers and TLC Family Resource Center staff got to work immediately.
A CELEBRATION OF LOVE, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION
According to the papers, hundreds of people gathered on Saturday on the Visitor’s Center Green for Rural PRIDE — a celebration of love, diversity, and inclusion. It was a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day with bubbles and balloons blowing in the breeze. There were information booths and vendors from all across the state. There were performances by Drag Queens, local talents, tribal fusion bellydancers, and even a youth performance. All in all it was a great day.
Lady Sabrina performing at Rural PRIDE 2018
One thing that stuck with me was when Lady Sabrina, a Drag Queen from Massachusetts, was performing. As I walked over to take a picture of the crowd I was struck by the amount of people. Young and old. Families and friends. All together, smiling and cheering.
Now, with the events from Saturday just a memory, I can’t help but think about what’s next. Saturday was a great day, but it was only just the start. We’ve seen now what our community is capable of, and it is on us to continue to create communities that foster diversity and inclusion and celebrate it. It's on us to come out for one another and show our support. It's on us to build the communities we want to live in.
It’s June, and that means its PRIDE month. The LGBTQ+ community has always been resilient, and whether its acceptance or our rights, we’ve always fought for what we deserve. But it’s on us to connect with each other. We came out Saturday and danced and laughed and celebrated, so now as you continue on, I hope you keep that love and that light with you. If you see an event is happening somewhere — try to make it. Reach out and make connections with one another. Help each other out. And when you need to, think back to that sunny day in June when your community came out in the name of love. It's on us as queer people to connect with queer people, and that may look different depending on where you are. I just hope you make an effort and know that there are people around you who are like you , who love you, and accept you. Happy PRIDE month.
Rural Outright is a program of TLC Family Resource Center providing support & advocacy for rural LGBTQIA+ Granite Staters and their allies. For more information about Rural PRIDE and to see what Rural Outright is up to visit us at tlcfamilyrc.org/rural-outright or connect with us on facebook, twitter, and instagram @ruralNHoutright