LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- The 2nd-annual Tupelo Pride Festival kicked off this weekend.
Tupelo Pride Festival is held to bring in support for the LGBTQ community.
This is a family-friendly event which promotes inclusion, diversity, and where love always wins.
On Saturday, hundreds people showed up in downtown Fairpark to celebrate the pride festival.
Event Coordinator Melanie Deas says it’s this weekend serves as a safe place for LGBTQ members.
” I don’t think we can have enough opportunity to show our love and support for all members of our community. You can’t have enough friendly open events to tell your neighbors you love them,” said Deas.
Parents and friends of lesbians and gays organization of Tupelo and Toyota Mississippi served as key sponsors.
This event brought in nonprofit organizations, vendors, musicians, and local churches in the area.
” The gratitude and the joy of the faces of people who show up and and who come up to me and say thank you for giving me a place to feel welcome makes it all worth it, “said Deas.
Transgender Education and Advocacy Program Coordinator Jensen Mataar served as a speaker this year.
” We’re ready to celebrate so far we’ve come for the past 50 years since Stonewall, all the accomplishments we’ve made as a community. We need to build a stronger community, we need to come together. We need to educate the community at large on what being LGBTQ really means and then once we get to that place of understanding then we can talk about how to better take action, ” said Mataar.
Mataar says this will help the LGBTQ community overcome adversity.
” Where are are right now is a little bit challenging we have a ways to go to ensure that all people inclusive of LGBTQ people have protection and that they are treated with dignity and respect in their daily lives, ” said Mataar.
Deas and Mataar are hopeful the festival will grow in numbers year after year.
” As an ally, is means the world to be able to do this for my friends to say I love you, I support you, I appreciate who you are. This year is already bigger and better and I hope that next year, we will continue that trend, ” said Deas.
For more information on Tupelo Pride, click here.