First-Ever Athens Pride Fest Set for This Weekend

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Members of the LGBTQ+ community will be coming together this weekend for the first-ever Athens Pride Fest.

Douglas Koala Robinson is a member of the Southeastern Ohio LGBT Coalition, one of the three organizations putting together Athens Pride Fest 2017, and he says the event sends a message to members of the LGBTQ community living in rural areas.

“You might feel like you are the only one that is a LGBTQ+ person in your small community, small town or village,” Robinson said.  “Please remember that we here as a community and we are here to support you and you are not alone.”

The three-day pride fest kicks off Friday night with a drag show at Athens Uncorked with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the show starting at 8 p.m.  According to the information listed on Facebook, performers will include Jasmyn LaBasha, Boston Michaels, Lady Davona, Starr Davis, Summer Knight, James Hawke, Antidote Queen, Karma khaos, Ming Vaz, Miss Thea Trix, and Mya Garrison. All proceeds from the show will benefit the Southeastern Ohio LGBT Coalition.

On Saturday pride fest activities continue with a concert at the Union Bar and Grill. The concert will feature several local bands. Proceeds from that event will benefit the newly formed Southeast Ohio LGBTQ+ Center which is in the process of raising funds to establish a permanent location.

Athens Pride Fest 2017 wraps up on Sunday with a rally and Pride Picnic on Ohio University’s College Green that will benefit the Ohio University LGBT Center.

“The rally is really the pinnacle of the pride fest,” Southeast Ohio LGBTQ+ Center board chair Mike Straw said. “That is us coming together as a community and saying here we are and we are standing together. This person standing next to me has a need that is just as legitimate as my own needs and we will work together to make sure we are all treated equally.”

Organizers say the three days worth of events are in solidarity with the national “March for Unity and Equality” taking place on June 11 in Washington, DC.