Baton Rouge Pride canceled the annual Pride Fest for 2021, which normally occurs downtown. BR Pride Chair Chris Bradford says it is a combination of indoor capability event restrictions and the uncertainty surrounding vaccine availability which existed before this season while the group has been planning its events.
"We really did not want to plan something and then back out," Bradford says. "Right now, we're rebuilding and reimplementing."
Even without the traditional fanfare, BR Pride still has plenty of community-related events on the roster this month.
The virtual Queer Conversations addresses difficult issues within the LGTBQ+ network, featuring a moderator and several changing panelists. The first event was held in May, but the events will continue throughout the year around the third week of each month. Bradford hopes that the series will be in-person in the fall, but all talks will nevertheless be listed and posted online. The June 16 subject is"Transgressions: A history of Trans Identity." Register for the event here.
The Bad Ass BR Drag Brunch is Sunday, June 6, also serves as a fundraiser for Pride Fest 2022 and other neighborhood events during the year. The brunch includes a DJ, five drag queen performances, a special guest appearance from Quiana Lynell, bottomless mimosas and catering from The Chimes. Purchase your VIP or general admissions tickets here. Doors open at 11 a.m.
BR Pride will soon revive other popular events which existed before COVID-19, such as the Business After Hours networking occasion for LGBTQ+ business owners, in Addition to Drag Queen Story Time along with the Orphan's Christmas fundraiser to benefit the kids at Diversity House. The company is also planning a celebration for National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
As for Pride Fest 2022, Bradford's working with a vision board.
"We normally begin planning in July, but we do have ideas," Bradford says.
One of those ideas is to make a new topic for every year. When the theme is finalized for 2022, there'll be a theme statement celebration to celebrate.
And coming after two years of no Pride Fests, community members can expect big things.
"We will have next year," Bradford says. "We will return with big and badass pride"