Jamestown gears up for first LGBTQ pride festival
The city will finally celebrate with a day of events after canceling its 2021 pride festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
JAMESTOWN, NY – The city of Jamestown is finally getting its first LGBTQ pride festival.
The June 12 event will feature several in-person events, including a pride flag raising, interactive themed booths and a performance by the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star and Jamestown native Pandora Boxx.
The inaugural festival was scheduled to take place in 2020 but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers are now ready to bring the LGBTQ community together in Chautauqua County.
“We have drastically reduced what we’re going to do, which is a shame, but it’s safer. And also, you know, this is our first Pride, so it doesn’t hurt to get your feet wet with something a little smaller, ”said Sheridan A. Smith, Pride coordinator. Jamestown.
Smith said support from organizations such as the Jamestown Public Market and the Pride Centers in Buffalo and Erie, Pa., Really helped kick off this year’s festival. He added that it was important that Jamestown had the chance to celebrate locally, in a way that reflected the community.
“We’re the largest city in our county, but we’re still quite small compared to Buffalo and compared to Erie, so Pride [here] is going to be different. The pride is going to be more intimate. Pride will be more focused on family and community. It’s about being able to show the different versions of Pride, the different versions of queerness and how that can exist in your community, ”Smith said.
He also says he wants to focus on pride as a celebration:
“Pride is important because celebrating is fun. We celebrate the differences in people and celebrate what makes people unique and happy.”
Even if you don’t identify as LGBTQ, you are still invited to attend one of the day’s many events.
“There are two communities,” Smith said. “There is the queer community that identifies as queer, and then there is the larger community of all who support Pride. You can be part of the queer community like some who have helped us in this huge effort. .. There is no reason to stay away from Pride. “
For contact information and a full list of events taking place at the Jamestown Pride Festival, visit their Facebook event page.
To note: The word “queer” is historically complicated. In 2016, the Human Rights Campaign voted to adopt the use of “LGBTQ”, with the “Q” standing for queer. This is because a lot of people see her as a sexual and gender identity. You can find out more here.