Pride Atlanta, one of the oldest and largest pride festivals in the United States, is scheduled for Oct. 11-13 this year. Since October 11 is National Coming Out Day, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your sexuality and connect with fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The parade begins at the Civic Center MARTA Station, then merges from Ralph McGill onto Peachtree Street and heads north. Then, the parade turns east onto 10th Street and follows 10th Street to the Charles Allen Gate entrance of Piedmont Park, where the parade ends.
The mission of the Atlanta Pride Committee is “to advance unity, visibility, and wellness among persons with widely diverse gender and sexual identities through cultural, social, political, and educational programs and activities.” More information on Atlanta’s Pride Parade can be found here.
The Atlanta Pride Committee is Georgia’s oldest non-profit agency that serves the LGBTQ+ community and as an advocate and resource for gender and sexually diverse communities in Atlanta and the southeastern United States. Furthermore, the Atlanta Pride Committee has reinvested more than $175,000 into other organizations and causes that deal with LGBTQ+ rights and the bettering of the community.
Pride parades are very important to the LGBTQ+ community, because they offer a safe space to celebrate one’s sexuality without fear of judgment or hate. Senior Mandy Larson, who attended Pride last year said, “The atmosphere was very loving and open. There’s a giant parade and the festival itself is very interactive. I would recommend going to pride if you want to have a fun experience with a bunch of loving people.”
A concern for some people is the safety at big parades or festivals, such as the Atlanta Pride parade. While anti-LGBTQ+ protesters have been known to protest at pride parades, Larson said, “I saw some protestors, but they were very outnumbered. I never felt unsafe, because there are just too many nice people everywhere.” In addition, the Atlanta Pride Committee takes precautions to make sure the parade is a fun and safe experience for everyone.
Centennial’s GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) club also serves as a place to be open about one’s sexuality and make new friends. GSA’s teacher sponsor is English teacher Sara Simpson, and the club meets every Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in G-69.