Pride weekend: a look into Atlanta culture

Hundreds+of+people+gathered+in+Piedmont+Park+to+celebrate+Atlanta%27s+acceptance+of+its+notorious+LGBTQ%2B+community.+Although+the+highlight+of+the+focus+was+about+the+LGBTQ%2B+community%2C+Atlanta%27s+pride+had+no+issues+in+promulgating+its+support+of+many+minorities.

Trinity Dixon

Hundreds of people gathered in Piedmont Park to celebrate Atlanta's acceptance of its notorious LGBTQ+ community. Although the highlight of the focus was about the LGBTQ+ community, Atlanta's pride had no issues in promulgating its support of many minorities.

On October 14th and 15th Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ community gathered in the greater Piedmont Park area to celebrate themselves. Whether they were lesbian, gay, transgender, queer, allied, or however they choose to identify, Pride attracted Georgians from all paths of life in an effort to unite them. On the surface, Pride looks like a mass of members from the LGBT+ community in makeup submerged in glitter waving rainbow flags, but I think it is a place of acceptance where anyone has the freedom to express themselves.

 

Justin Gibbs-Poe
When I first ascended the stairs from the civic center Marta station, I was caught off guard. Not being a frequent visitor to Atlanta, I was already amazed by the towering buildings looming over me. When I took my eyes off the sky however, I acknowledged the flowing parade right before my eyes. The music, the glitter, and of course, the rainbows, set the foundation for a great glimpse of Atlanta’s gay culture.

 

Justin Gibbs-Poe
Rather than standing still to watch the floats go by, I decided to simultaneously walk and watch. Support for the community compelled businesses all across Atlanta to come together and show their support. For instance, Smirnoff, an international vodka company, showed their love by blasting pop music while flamboyant flamingo dancers were twirling on the float.

 

Justin Gibbs-Poe
After deciding that I needed to make my way to Piedmont Park, I navigated my way throughout the winding streets of Atlanta. Inclusivity, a core principle of Pride, was made clear when the Atlantic house’s float made its way down the road: the float was sponsored by a local apartment complex. The drag queens that were waving a huge rainbow flag produced an energy full of love and support.

 

Justin Gibbs-Poe
The Power 96.1 float was by far the loudest float. This radio station’s support was heard and felt by the crowd through their blasting of LGBT songs  ranging from Janet Jackson’s “Escapade” to Kesha’s “We R Who We R”.

 

Justin Gibbs-Poe
Probably one of the more popular floats at the parade, the Georgia Aquarium’s float put on a show that received glorified hailing from the majority of the spectators. Their float emitted support and fun as various sea creatures were dancing around and atop the float.

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Justin Gibbs-Poe
Pride wouldn’t be pride without the protesters. Despite all the celebration aroused from the lot of the LGBTQ+ status, a gathering of shameless protesters proudly displayed their distaste with the community through their belligerent hate speech and antagonistic signs. In the midst of the parade, their presence was hard to miss; but nonetheless, the community overcame their hate with the power of love.

 

The end of the day left me thinking about what it meant to be prideful of who I am. Even though I don’t consider my sexuality my defining trait, I do think it is a big part of what makes me myself. I learned that being gay is not just about rainbow flags and liking people of the same sex. It is the part of my identity that accounts for my perspective of why people should disseminate acceptance and inclusivity to anyone who dares to call themselves different; and for that, I am proud of each and every person that is apart of the LGBTQ+ community.