This last week, I attended my first ever Pride festival. It was relatively small, about one or two hundred people in attendance. It was held in North Eastern Washington, in a community park in Snohomish County.
As I walked into the park, I saw people of all different ages and races jumbled up together on the grass and listening to a band play some songs on the makeshift stage. Behind them were several colorful flags strung up against the wall behind them.
Walking through the festival, I visited the booths of many different organizations. For example, a clinic offering free HIV testing and booklets on AIDS prevention. GLOBE, a youth group event that met every Wednesday were extremely welcoming to me and told me that I was welcome to join them at group at any time. There was also a nonprofit organization preventing homelessness in the LGBT community. These are only naming a few.
Congressman Rick Larson also gave a short speech, discussing how important it was to come together and support each other as a community.
All in all, while it was a small festival, there was an undeniable sense of community among all of those who attended. Let it be known that I am not a local of this community or this state for that matter, yet I felt unconditionally accepted by everyone.
I think this really makes a statement about the LGBT community. They are accepting of everyone, no matter where you are from, what color you are, how young or old you are. Even if you are not LGBT, I still strongly recommend making your way to a Pride event at least once in your life. I promise you that as long as you are accepting of them, they will accept you.