Lila Miller, A&E Editor
This past weekend, downtown Savannah saw flurries of locals, students, tourists and visitors alike for the many events that occurred.
Savannah’s Pride Festival started off the weekend Friday, Oct. 25, with a night parade that featured LGBTQ individuals, community groups, businesses and the like as they marched down Congress St. and the downtown area. The party continued well into the evening, with a concert following the next day in Ellis Square.
On Saturday, a grandstand stage area was constructed in downtown Savannah’s Ellis Square. Portions of Bull St. were closed to allow for a large installation of the signature LGBTQ rainbow flag that was elevated from one side of the street to the other.
While musicians played for several hours, attendees flocked to the square to hear the live music and peruse the booths set up around the area.
Members of GSU’s Women and Gender Studies department attended, Planned Parenthood, Riverside Tattoo, SCAD’s LGBTQ club, and Pete Buttigieg campaigners were only several of over thirty tables. Other vendors sold flags, T-shirts, and other Pride regalia encouraging shoppers to be proud of their individual identities. Many people wore flags, rainbow-colored outfits and other positive-spirited costumes.
Unlike many Pride festivals across the country, no protesters were present in Savannah. Most enjoyed the event, though some of the participants voiced their growing concerns over what they view as queer culture becoming synonymous with the prevalent drinking culture, especially in Savannah.
“I just feel like the parade Friday night started so late and wasn’t very inclusive of people who choose not to drink or don’t want to participate in that. It seemed more like a conga line to the bar than anything else,” said Miranda Wiley, a local queer non-binary artist.
Noticeably absent within the Pride festival’s tables, was the Armstrong campus’ now defunct LGBTQ club, the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). After a series of bureaucratic rulings from the Office of Student Activities (OSA) the club has been ineligible to meet and coordinate events this semester and is now under the affinity LGBTQ. The club was able to join the festivities under the Gender Studies program, but not officially.
For more information on getting involved with the LGBTQ community on campus, contact cell and microbiology undergraduate student, Kaley Neal via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.