Tri-Valley Celebrates Pride 2021 | New
After a long and often difficult year that has isolated and separated community members due to the coronavirus pandemic, LGBTQ + Pride Month offered local residents the opportunity to celebrate while organizing and preparing to the challenges that awaited them.
To welcome Pride Month in the Tri-Valley, the organizers of Livermore Pride held their first-ever Pride Prom (nicknamed “Pride Prom-ish” due to 2021 conditions) in downtown Livermore on the 5th June, providing space for students and residents. to celebrate the month, mark the end of the school year and enjoy a community event.
“A lot of activities for our local high school kids in particular were canceled this year, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to have a ‘Pride Prom-ish’. We had planned to have a pride ball there. ‘last year, but with the shutdown, we obviously couldn’t,’ Livermore Pride executive director Amy Rose told The Weekly.
Held at Wingen Bakery in downtown Livermore, the first Livermore Pride Prom-ish featured community members and students dressed in their most stylish prom attire to have their photos taken at a booth at the bakery interior.
Attendees were also able to enjoy a special menu from Wingen Bakery – which hosted an early opening event to coincide with the Pride event – for a picnic at Stockmen’s Park.
While Pride Prom events typically include other aspects of proms such as dancing, this year’s celebration has been curtailed due to the pandemic.
“Hope next year we have a full ball. Ideally we would have had a real pride ball that would have been opened in high school and that would have been a super fun all inclusive dance with all the usual prom reflections, “Rose said.
While Livermore Pride plans to hold a large-scale pride event in October, organizers said it was important to hold the June event to provide a local venue for residents to celebrate and increase awareness of the issues. LGBTQ +.
“There is still so much discrimination against LGBTQ people, even though we have come a long way. The pride started out as a manifestation and there is still that kind of discrimination. One aspect is to keep doing the necessary work to do so. making sure everyone is treated fairly, ”said Rose.
“(Pride) is meant to be joyful; it’s meant to be happy and fun, vibrant and colorful – all the while remembering where we came from and why, to continue to raise awareness that we haven’t finished bringing fair rights, ”Rose added.
Pride Prom-ish in particular provided residents with a more inclusive environment, including LGBTQ + adults who weren’t able to enjoy their own prom experiences.
“We’re always a little nervous about doing big pride events, but something like that means so much because I’ve never been to my prom. I went to a Catholic girl’s high school when I was a kid, and as a trans man who doesn’t. He fits the ball exactly, “said Charlie Hunts, who attended the Pride Prom-ish alongside his wife Madeline Burchard.
“It looks different but it’s even more special than if I was going to my last year in high school, as a trans man with my wife and the photos were really fun. We will treasure them for a long time,” he said. he declared. added. “We’re so grateful. In a town like Livermore at times it can feel like a long way from the Bay Area. To start an organization like Livermore Pride, keep going through a COVID year and host events like this that are genuine means the world. “
Pride offers residents the opportunity to organize against oppression, according to Burchard and Hunts, who added that the need for organization is even greater now due to the growing number of cases of government-sponsored discrimination in the country. against LGBTQ + groups.
“Having been estranged from each other over the past year, I think it’s going to be important over the next year and come together as a community, especially with what’s going on in the landscaping policy, ”Burchard said. “Our community is currently under attack by lawmakers and politicians who seek to take away rights. So it will be important over the next year to mobilize and some of the activism and mobilization comes together and socialization is part of the basis of everything. “
“There have been more anti-trans bills passed in the past year than in the past 10 years combined, so I think it’s really important to be sustainable, especially after such a tough year. “, added Hunts.
For residents interested in learning more about Livermore Pride, the group plans to run an Allies Training Program where residents can receive training on how to better support the LGBTQ + community. Livermore Pride is also expected to host “PRIDEFEST2021” on October 16-17.
In recognition of Pride Month and its LGBTQ + residents, each of the four towns of Tri-Valley and the town of Danville have decided to exercise their government discourse by hoisting the LGBTQ + pride flag on the municipal poles of the community.
“This year is the third year in a row that we have sported a version of the LGBTQ + pride flag in conjunction with our LGBTQ + pride month proclamation,” Dublin Deputy Mayor Shawn Kumagai told The Weekly.
“Dublin continues to recognize the unique contributions and challenges of our LGBTQ + community. Last year we flew the Philadelphia Pride Flag and this year we decided to fly the ‘Pride of Progress Flag’, a design that recognizes transgender people, people of color and those affected by HIV / AIDS, ”added Kumagai, who was the first openly gay person to serve on Dublin City Council.
“This act is an important outward expression of support for members of the LGBTQ + community who live and work in Dublin, and I am proud that we are a leader in East Bay in flying the flag of pride. This year, for the first time, every municipality in the Tri-Valley flies the pride flag in June and it’s incredible progress, ”he said.
Dublin was the first local city to hoist the Pride Flag in June 2019, but was quickly followed by Livermore who raised the flag during its first Livermore Pride festival in October 2019 (LGBTQ History Month), when city council member Brittni Kiick said Livermore Pride was presented with the city’s very first “Inclusion Proclamation”.
“Pride is born out of protest. The pride marches and celebrations allowed community members to bolster their security in numbers. In communities that have historically been marginalized, living in hiding for fear of violence, showing public joy is a form of protest, ”Kiick told The Weekly.
“An HRC study reports that 68% of LGBTQ youth have heard negative messages about being LGBTQ from their elected leaders. The town of Livermore does not want to add to this statistic. Raising the flag pride means the city of Livermore recognizes and welcomes the LGBTQ community, ”she added.
Kiick said the need for these events and recognitions is still very strong today, especially among LGBTQ + youth – 42% of whom said they had seriously considered suicide in the past year according to a 2021 study by Trevor. Project, a suicide-focused nonprofit. prevention efforts among LGBTQ + youth.
“While I wish I could say it was just a celebration and show some joy, the reality is that actions like hoisting a pride flag have a significant impact on mental health and the perception of safety. gay people in our community, ”Kiick said, adding:
“Now it is our job, as elected officials of local, state and federal governments, to ensure that the perception of increased safety is a reality by adopting a policy that will increase the health and safety of the community. LGBTQ. “