Buffalo Pride May 25 – June 1
With Buffalo Pride quickly approaching, scores of LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Intersex, and Ally) identifying people are preparing for the yearly celebration of equality and diversity. A work friend of mine is excited for her first pride- my straight-identifying friend, with a straight- identified boyfriend, in a long-term straight-identified relationship. Meanwhile her friends and family are perplexed. Why would you want to go to THAT? Is there something you want to tell us Jennifer? Any closet doors you want to open? Secret lovers you want to reveal? Let’s Step Out Buffalo to this year’s (or any year’s!) Buffalo Pride, because no matter your orientation- LGBTQI or A, I have eight reasons Buffalo Pride is for you.
Alcohol Doesn’t Care What Your Sexual Orientation Is – Buffalo Pride offers one of the most impressive handmade bars at any festival this summer. From wine and beer to coolers and mixed drinks there is anything and everything a 21+ adult could want to indulge in. What better excuse for a drink on a Sunday morning than a yearly Pride festival sponsored by Barefoot Wines and staffed by a dozen local bars and bartenders. Bottoms-up!
Live Family Entertainment – There are concerts from big names, concerts from local choirs, cultural presentations and the like. The majority of Pride is a family friendly event. Kids 1-100 love a parade and there is even a family entertainment booth at Canalside on the final Sunday. If you’re attending the Allentown Street Festival, leave the children with a sitter- this event is 21+ only. Speaking of leaving things at home- Pets are not recommended at any of the Pride events. Tight quarters and big crowds are not always animal friendly, but of course this is up to each animal owner’s discretion.
Beautiful Canalside Views – I’ve touted the positive attributes of Buffalo Canalside before and I’ll keep doing it until everyone in Buffalo has seen it! The canal is beautiful on a bright, sunny day. It provides views of the water, animal-life, and some of the greenest grass in the city. Come to people watch or turn around and watch the canal in all its natural wonder.
Heartwarming PFLAG Grandparents – My favorite Parade group each year is the PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays) group. Imagine a time of Segregation, a lack of Women’s rights, a lack of racial, cultural and religious diversity- this was the age of our grandparents. Now Imagine being thrust into a new world when discovering a child or grandchild is gay and then immediately accepting and loving this person despite their “otherness.” These are the heroes of LGBT individuals- family members who were the most likely to be close-minded and stunted, but are so full of love that they’re willing to march in a parade to prove their acceptance.
Free Loot! – What’s better than a rainfall of chips, candy, popsicles, beads or assorted adult items? Absolutely nothing. Reminisce back to the time of your childhood, and come out to the parade for the free candy on Elmwood Avenue between Forest and Allen. Did I mention that the entire event is free? There are suggested donations to keep the festival running for years to come, but no money is required anywhere during the Pride events.
Celebrate Buffalo’s History – Pride Parades began after the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City but Buffalo’s Official Pride celebrations did not begin until the mid-1980’s. Today, Pride is not just a one day event, it is a week long celebration of events including a flag raising at Buffalo City Hall, a Dyke March in Allentown, an Interfaith Church Celebration, a number of musical events, an Art Show, a 5K Race and of course, the famous Sunday Parade.
Embrace Culture and Diversity – The LGBT community is added to a long list of Buffalo festivals like the Italian Heritage Festival, Greek Heritage Festival, Allentown Art Festival, Lewiston Jazz Festival, Wine Festival et cetera. A summer spent exploring what makes Buffalo great would not be complete without this celebration of love.
To “Experience Everything”- If none of the other reasons work for you, come to the festival for Jennifer’s reason- to experience everything. No matter what people might think, no matter what box you might be thrown into- come to the Pride Festival so you can say you’ve been, so you can have a great time, so you can expand your horizons, and so you can share in a new experience with thousands of Buffalonians and visitors to the Queen City.
Find out more @ buffalopridefestival.com!
Buffalo Pride Events
Out In The Ballpark – Sunday, May 25
Flag Raising Ceremony – Tuesday, May 27
Gay 5K Run – Thursday, May 29
Chroma: Art Opening – Friday, May 30
Dyke March – Saturday, May 31
Allen Street Festival – Saturday, May 31
Pride Parade – Sunday, June 1
Pride Festival at Canalside – Sunday, June 1
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