I've been to more festivals in my life than I can count. Music, craft, dance- and Pride. Sometimes I am a vendor, other times a participant. If you have been to any type of festival you pretty much know that you will find vendors of one kind or another, music, a lack of bathrooms, lots of people trying to be in the same space you are, and if it's summer, lots of heat or maybe rain. So why on earth would you go to one of these festivals? Because it's so much fun! (those of you who are now rolling your eyeballs at me, it's totally ok that you don't want to participate. You can do your thing while we're festivalling and we'll bring you back a lemonade and a sticker.)

Pride festivals are much like other festivals, except for one thing. There is sooo much joy! I don't remember any other type of festival with so much positive energy. Yes, there are one or two grouchy grumps, and the protestors who are drowned out by choruses of "love is love", but for the most part, the Pride Festivals I've been to are filled with excitement, love, and hope. I love everything about them, from the music to the way folks decorate themselves in all things Pride, and everything in between. These events are definitely on my top ten list of favorite things to do.

I love it when a family enters our booth and lets us know that it's their child's first pride after coming out (it happens more than you might think). I love it when adults come in with children or young people and allow them to ask questions.  What are the different colors for? Why are there different pronouns? What does Ally mean? Why does it say "love is love"? It is just pure joy to watch.

Another favorite part of Pride Festivals is watching someone new to their journey when they see their flag or their pronouns and they exclaim with surprise and hope and delight because they are seen and loved. 

I know that these events were created not just to celebrate the LGBTQ community, but because there is persecution. I can't dismiss this part, especially as an ally who loves some very wonderful people in the community. I don't always know what to do about it, but I can practice what I believe, and keep trying to be the best ally I can be.

I hope you will join me at a Pride Festival this year. It's totally worth the heat and the long lines for a lemonade!


Until next time, sending lots of love, and thanks as always for being part of this community,
Ellin (she/her)
*I don't usually share photos but here's one I love of us at Greensboro Pride last year. 


Ellin and Hannah at Greensboro Pride


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