By Elizabeth Horn, Staff Writer
On Saturday September 13, Savannah held its 15th annual Pride Festival at Forsyth Park. Despite the drastic heat of the day and the onslaught of dragonflies, lovebugs, and mosquitoes, numerous people- both part of the LGBTQ community and supporters of the community- crowded into the park with cheerful grins on their faces and welcoming airs in their hearts. Savannah is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the south and even though the festival was smaller than other cities, such as Atlanta, there was no shortage of advocates coming from all over the country to help celebrate the city’s diversity.
In addition to the avid promoters, the festival also held countless booths to entertain guests with information and activities to get them involved in LGBTQ’s cause. Armstrong’s own Gay-Straight Alliance was there representing the school and providing information on the club’s activities. “I was extremely impressed with all of the members of Gay-Straight Alliance that came out to volunteer. They all represented Armstrong fabulously.” Sophomore Emily Bressler said. Various other organizations were set up in the park to raise awareness for their programs. The Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church spread the word about their Broadway based sermons called God on Broadway, which features bible stories told through famous Broadway plays. Camp Lightbulb, a summer camp for the members of LGBTQ, was in attendance looking for new ideas to take back home in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The camp is unique to fourteen to eighteen LGBTQ kids where they can enjoy a camp experience without the fear of being judged or excluded. There were also booths providing information about shelters that offer a safe place for runaway or homeless youths. Park Place Outreach provides food and security for children ages eleven to seventeen who are victims of abuse.
Entertainment was provided by multiple artists including Lindsey Hinkle as well as the Christy Alan Band. Their catchy music filled the entire park, making the intense heat a bit more bearable. The participants of the festival were entertaining as well. Most wore bright, vivid colors and sported stripes and stunning patterns. Some even dressed up their animals in support of the festival. “It was really interesting to see all the different types of people who were supportive of the LGBTQ community,” sophomore Childhood Education major Lucky Larid said.
Savannah Pride is one of the biggest festivals in the city, gathering people from all walks of life to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Savannah has supporters from various businesses and churches who don’t believe in discrimination based on sexual orientation. Pride is an important organization that continues to help gain the support that the LGBTQ community needs.