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Adirondack North Country Pride returns Oct. 2

Adirondack North Country Pride returns to Plattsburgh on Saturday Oct. 2 from noon to 4 p.m. in Trinity Park in Plattsburgh. This is the 6th annual pride event held in the Adirondack North Country celebrating diversity, inclusion and respect for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical capability or any other inherent identity. This event normally brings hundreds of people to downtown each year to patronize area merchants and restaurants.

Participating in LGBTQI pride allows us to come together to build community with others who share our common beliefs that human sexuality and gender identity exist on a fluid continuum of possibilities rather on only two fixed standard points of self-identification.

Pride celebrations are a way to honor those who came before us, who fought for the right to express their love towards another person on their own terms and not what society dictates as being acceptable or “proper.” It allows us to show our young people that they are perfect just as they are.

LGBTQI Pride began one year after the historic Stonewall riots of June 28, 1969 of which we commemorate the 52nd anniversary this year. The multi day riots that occurred at the Stonewall Inn as a result of a police raid of the local LGBTQ safe haven sparked the beginning of the current LGBTQI movement in the United States. Many municipalities host “Pride Parades” across the country and across the world where LGBTQI community members outwardly profess their ability to live freely and openly as their true authentic self.

Here in the Adirondack North Country, we hold our pride event towards the end of September or early October as an opening for LGBTQI History awareness month. This is a time to acknowledge the many accomplishments of LGBTQI members both past and present as well as the strides in our current social/political arenas.

We also welcome the return of all regional college and university students as we strive to make this region a better place for them to grown, live, work and be a vital part of our community.

This family-friendly event is a time set apart to celebrate lesbian, gay, bi/pansexual, transgender, gender queer/non-binary and intersex people. We welcome the diversity of all other marginalized people in our area. It is a time to come out and celebrate what makes each of us special and unique.

In previous year’s, ANCGA has used the sidewalks of Plattsburgh to hold our annual march. This year we hoped to use the streets in the city. After a very late review of our event proposal the route originally chosen from US Oval, to Bridge St. then onto Trinity was found to conflict with another event. After the city council meeting in September, the city requested close to $4000.00 in previously undisclosed fees for road closures and other Department of Public Works and Police costs. It was with deep regret and sadness we were forced to cancel the parade but we will retain our traditional Pride Festival in Trinity Park.

This year we are proud to have new co-sponsors this year’s event including CDPHP, Plattsburgh United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Plattsburgh. We welcome back previous year supporters including Planned Parenthood of the North Country, Irises Caf and Wine Bar.

Let us be Adirondack proud and North Country strong as we show our combined strength in ending bullying, harassment, hate, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

We welcome everyone in the Adirondack North Country community to come celebrate diversity, inclusion, acceptance and understanding of the differences of what makes each of us the special, unique and the wonderful people we are.

(Kelly Metzgar is the executive director of the Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance.)