Somewhere over the rainbow: Atlanta Pride

Somewhere+over+the+rainbow%3A+Atlanta+Pride

Summer O'Neill

Students from GSAs all over Georgia, such as Tucker, DSA and Lakeside march in the Atlanta Pride Parade.

It was not hard to find scantily clad men and women, drag queens, gay pride shirts or rainbows at the Atlanta Pride Parade. This year, Decatur’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) was also in attendance.

According to the festival’s official website, Atlanta Pride began in 1970 after the Stonewall Riots in New York. The first year it was held, people handed out literature in Piedmont Park. Since then, Pride has grown to a weekend-long festival with music, vendors, shows, the parade and much more. Over 200,000 people attend the festival now each year in October, making Atlanta Pride the largest Pride in the Southeast.

Students marched in the parade with students from other high schools, meeting up at the Marta station in the morning to go to Pride. Although junior Lyndsay Morrow has gone to Pride for three years, this year was her first time going with the GSA.

Morrow identifies as queer, an umbrella term for anything but straight. It can mean lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gay, questioning, or anything in between. She finds that it is easier to be friends with people that are queer than to be friends with people that are straight.

“I like meeting new people at Pride because I like having the opportunity to meet these like-minded people,” Morrow said.

Pride can also be wild, from the highly made-up drag queens to the half-naked men and women both on floats and in the crowd.

“I learned to just expect anything about Pride,” Morrow said. “I was a little bit shocked to see so many . . . partially naked people.”

While most people at Pride are friendly, there can be people to watch out for. The first time Morrow went, she got hit on by a woman more than ten years older than her.

Morrow, however, appreciates the mutual feeling of trust and understanding with the group at Pride.

“The biggest part I think about Pride is getting to know people and being in a place where you know [being gay] is not an issue,” Morrow said. “You know at least those people believe that much, so you know you have at least that much in common.”

PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, marched in the parade in support of their gay friends and family. Above is a sign held by a supportive parent.