To the LGBTQIA+ community and allies,
After a two-year hiatus, we are excited to be “Together Again.” We are showing the world the love we have for one another and that we are proud of the things we’ve accomplished. As we move into the Pride season, it is important to note the amount of stress we have all been under during these past couple of years. It is now finally time to come outside and show our pride to St. Louis.
Pride isn’t just a party. The primary intent is to promote the self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increased visibility of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the greater St. Louis region. Pride month is about celebrating the work of LGBTQIA+ people, educating about LGBTQIA+ history and raising awareness of issues affecting the community. It’s a celebration of people coming together in love and friendship. It’s all about being proud of who you are no matter who you love. Pride month is about acceptance, equality and equity for those who haven’t felt included or valued in society and showcasing their presence in one of the most visible areas, downtown St. Louis.
PrideFest 2022’s theme “Together Again” rings true more now than ever. We’re coming together to advocate for enhanced support of the most marginalized within our community, as well as to educate society about the long-lasting effects of the harm and damage of sex and gender phobias that continue to plague our society, media and institutions. Even as we celebrate together, we should remember the work that still needs to be done in terms of social reform; eliminating violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals; decreasing bullying; increasing access to health, mental health and safe elder care; and stopping the rise of anti-trans legislation.
Pride began with the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969. Led by Black, Latinx and trans people of color, Pride has become a global celebration of queer emancipation and visibility. We need allies, leaders and role models — inside and outside of the communities — to stand up for our rights, protections and freedoms. Those are things we should never ever take for granted.
We are extremely excited to be able to showcase our theme this year in various ways: entertainment, education, testing and social gatherings on Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26. PrideSTL hopes that all interested individuals who have never been to an event such as this will come out and be willing to listen and learn and enjoy celebrating with us. We are not only celebrating our freedom to be our authentic selves but remembering the courage of people, such as activist Marsha P. Johnson and other individuals, who were instrumental in getting this movement started and opening doors for all of us.
So let’s get “Together Again” and let everyone know we are here, and we aren’t going anywhere.
Brandon Reid President, Pride St. Louis Board of Directors