Friday, June 22, 2018

Point 2018 Scholarship Recipients

Point Foundation (Point) the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students announced its 2018 scholarship recipients. The 20 LGBTQ students were chosen to be Point Scholars from more than 2,000 applicants. Point is also welcoming 25 LGBTQ students to its Community College Scholarship Program. This year’s scholarship recipients include seasoned advocates for LGBTQ rights & social justice, impressive young scientists, industrious medical students & competent young people who will undoubtedly impact professions from law to business & the arts. In addition to their accomplishments, many of the scholarship recipients have overcome barriers to their success that are all too common among LGBTQ individuals, including discrimination, immigration status, homelessness, family rejection & abuse. Jorge Valencia, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation stated, “Point’s diverse class of scholarship recipients give us hope & make us proud. These young leaders are determined to make our nation & our world a much better place than it is today. Point is incredibly grateful to the people & companies that support our work & make these opportunities possible for our scholars.” Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic & leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. Since 2002, Point has awarded more than 400 scholarships, making it the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. The Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development & community service training.
For More Info: pointfoundation.org
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

US Exits UN Human Rights Council

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo & U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley announced the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council. The UN Human Rights Council based in Geneva is the world's preeminent human rights institution with a mandate to strengthen the promotion & protection of human rights around the globe & to address human rights violations. The Council has been a site for progress for LGBTQ human rights over the past ten years leading to the recent establishment of the first UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, a position currently held by Victor Madrigal-Borloz. OutRight Action International stated, “The US withdrawal from the Human Rights Council is symptomatic of overall US isolationism & a move away from multilateral diplomacy. This administration’s “America First” promise is rearing its head in every foreign & domestic policy decision, including this one…For many LGBTIQ people, the Human Rights Council & the United Nations as a whole are ports of last call when their own governments fail them. Without a history of progress on LGBTIQ human rights at the Human Rights Council we would have no progress to speak of within the UN system today. Withdrawing from the Council sends a message to other countries that its acceptable to walk away from the system when it doesn’t suit you to be there. Imagine, what would happen if all countries walked away from the UN because of disagreements.” For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

OUT On Stage Comedy Movie Event

Fathom Events & Comedy Dynamics present “OUT on Stage” a feature-length comedy movie event that will be screened in more than 250 select theaters on Tuesday July 24th through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). The event is hosted by comedian Zach Noe Towers & contains 90 minutes of laugh-out-loud content from a lineup of renowned gay & lesbian stand-up comedians including Brendan Scannel, A.B. Cassidy & Janine Brito. Zach Noe Towers stated, “OUT on Stage has been a real passion project for me. What an incredible experience it’s been to bring together such a gorgeously funny group of queer comedians. Each & every person featured in the content has such a unique perspective & I’m thrilled that we’re being given a platform for those hilarious voices to be heard.” Gordon Synn Fathom Events Chief Content & Programming Officer added, “We at Fathom pride ourselves on consistently serving up diverse content for our viewers & we’re thrilled to be spotlighting such a talented group of LGBTQ+ comedians with ‘OUT on Stage’. It could not be more fitting to announce the upcoming celebration of these comedians during June, National Pride Month! We’re certain that every moviegoer will find something to love in ‘OUT on Stage’ & that they’ll share many laughs with us along the way.” Brian Volk Weiss Comedy Dynamics CEO concluded, “We strive to be at the cutting edge of comedy & bringing the laughs to the entire audience. With Out on Stage, I think we’ve continued with that tradition.”
For More Info: fathomevents.com
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Monday, June 18, 2018

Provincetown Film Festival Winners

The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) announced the award winners of this year’s 20th anniversary film festival. The award winners are: HBO Audience Award/ Best Narrative Feature: AND BREATHE NORMALLY, directed by Ísold Uggadóttir, HBO Audience Award / Best Documentary Feature: TIME FOR ILHAN, directed by Norah Shapiro, The John Schlesinger Award for Narrative Feature, presented to a first time feature filmmaker: THE CAKEMAKER, directed by Ofir Raul Graizer, The judge for the John Schlesinger Award for Narrative Feature was filmmaker Dan Minahan (“Game of Thrones,” “True Blood,” SERIES 7), The John Schlesinger Award for Documentary Feature, presented to a first time feature filmmaker: A FINE LINE, directed by Joanna Jame,s The judge for the John Schlesinger Award for Documentary Feature was Richard Lawson, chief critic, Vanity Fair. Winner of the HBO Documentary Short Film was LANDLINE, directed by Matt Houghton, Here Media Best Queer Short Film: MARGUERITE, directed by Maria Gracia Turgeon, Best Narrative Short Film: WREN BOYS, directed by Harry Lighton, Best Animated Short Film: NEGATIVE SPACE, directed by Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata, Best New England Short Film: BECAUSE YOU’RE HERE, directed by Mike Syers & Best Student Short Film was GIRL FRIEND, directed by Chloe Sarbib. As previously announced, Sean Baker was presented with the 2018 Filmmaker on the Edge Award in conversation with filmmaker John Waters; Molly Shannon received the Excellence in Acting Award in conversation with film scholar B. Ruby Rich; & Chloë Grace Moretz received the Next Wave Award in conversation with Sundance Film Festival’s John Cooper.
For More Info: provincetownfilm.org
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Friday, June 15, 2018

BGMC South African Tour

The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) announced that it has accepted an invitation to march with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa & Gauteng Province Premier David Makhura during the country’s annual ceremonies marking Youth Day. Youth Day is a South African public holiday commemorating the June 16, 1976 Soweto uprising by students & others that sparked the political movement that eventually led to the end of Apartheid. Reuben Reynolds III, Music Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus stated, “We are both honored & humbled by this extraordinary invitation to march in the annual Youth Day walk that marks such an important moment in South Africa’s history. The fact that we have been asked to participate to help highlight the needs of LGBTI people in South Africa is both a tremendous privilege & responsibility.” In a letter to BGMC from Education Chief of Staff Oupa Bodipie of the Education Department of Gauteng Province, Bodipie wrote that BGMC’s presence during the presidential Youth Day walk would “highlight & endorse the Advocacy of the LGBTI Sector.” He also invited BGMC to open the June 16th lecture on the centenary of Nelson Mandela, which will be attended by Gauteng Province Premier Makhura. Craig Coogan, BGMC Executive Director concluded, “Music is a universal language & our concerts are about sharing our stories & our humanity through song, enabling others to find common ground in our experiences. We welcome dialogue & difficult conversations, all of which inform our art & music. We are thrilled with this invitation & opportunity to support South Africans in their efforts to build community & celebrate difference.”
For More Info: bgmc.org
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

World Blood Donor Day 2018

Every year on June 14th countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) an event established in 2004 to raise awareness of the need for safe blood & blood products & to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. Kelsey Louie, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) CEO stated, “On World Blood Donor Day, as we honor individuals across the world who voluntarily donate their blood to save lives, we must unite to call for an end to the Food & Drug Administration’s ongoing, discriminatory policy for gay & bisexual male blood donors. Modern science enables us to evaluate all blood donors equally regardless of their identity, yet men who have sex with men (MSM) are still subject to different standards that perpetuate the stereotype that all gay & bisexual men are inherently dangerous. Our government must stop reacting to HIV as it did during the dark days of the AIDS crisis. With this discriminatory policy against MSM, the FDA is not just refusing blood that will save lives, but also enforcing stigmas that fuel the HIV epidemic, shaming people into the shadows & discouraging them from coming forward to seek treatment. Amidst a stream of discriminatory policies from the federal government against the LGBT community, it is important that we remain strong & united to defend our rights, our dignity & our health.” Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 12,000 people living with & affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include: testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health & substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state & federal level with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic.
For More Info: gmhc.org
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pulse Survivor Speaks OUT (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Brandon Wolf, Vice President of The Dru Project & a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre talks about his experience on that horrific night two years ago which claimed the lives of 49 people & left 53 injured most of whom were LGBTQ Latinx people & people of color. Not only was this one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history it was also the deadliest single incidence of violence against LGBTQ people in the U.S. When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBTQ equality Wolf stated, “I think we’ve made a ton of progress on equality. I think that we have a lot to be proud of as a community for how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. There are a lot of movements in this country. There are a lot of disenfranchised groups that have been fighting for their rights as long as they can remember & they haven’t come nearly as close as we have. But my personal commitment is that we continue to move forward; that we continue to move towards a place where we don’t have to feel like we’re fighting for our rights every single day. A place where you can’t be fired just for being LGBTQ; a place where harassment and discrimination are not legalized; a place where I don’t have to go to a nightclub looking for the exits because I don’t fear someone is going to harm me for who I am. My personal commitment is to again empower young people, a new generation of leaders that are going to challenge the status quo & say we’ve done a hell of a lot of great work but we’re not done doing great work until everyone in this country, everyone no matter black, white, brown, blue, LGBTQ feel safe in their own skin & I’m personally committed to amplifying that message until we get it done." LISTEN
 
For More Info: thedruproject.org
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Monday, June 11, 2018

LPAC NYC Comedy Event (AUDIO)

“Levity & Justice For ALL” is a comedy benefit for LPAC that takes place on June 20th at The Town Hall in NYC. For the past three years LPAC has honored a true Champion of Change who embodies the values of their organization & this year they will be honoring equality activist & tennis legend Billie Jean King. Melissa Etheridge will be the special guest presenter & the stellar entertainment line up will also include comedians Chaunté Wayans, Judy Gold, A. B. Cassidy, Pat Brown, Kate Clinton, the musical group Betty & more. This is a fabulous opportunity to join 1,000+ LPAC supporters for a special night of laughter & entertainment that helps raise critical funds to support LPAC endorsed candidates for their critical 2018 midterm elections. LPAC mission is to build the political power of lesbians & queer women by electing candidates who champion LGBTQ rights, women’s equality & social justice. Founded in 2012 by experienced leaders in feminism, LGBTQ & social justice movements, LPAC has raised millions of dollars from thousands of donors across 48 states & the District of Columbia. Funds raised by “Levity & Justice for All” will be used for political education, organizing & mobilization efforts to support LPAC endorsed candidates. The event is produced by Barbara Gaines, Bruce Roberts & Urvashi Vaid. In this exclusive audio interview we talked to Stephanie Sandberg the new Executive Director of LPAC about what she hopes to accomplish, “Levity & Justice For ALL” & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN
For Info & Tix:teamlpac.com
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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Manchester Pride UK At Boston Pride

Boston Pride announced that the city of Manchester, UK has joined as a Pride Partner with representatives from the city attending both the Pride Parade on June 9th & the festivities on June 10th. At a fabulous rooftop reception at the Revere Hotel in Boston we learned that Manchester is one of the UK’s most exciting & diverse growing cities. Known as a thriving hub of LGBTQ culture Manchester is also recognized around the world for its contributions to music, art, science & athletics. Sylvan Bruni, Boston Pride President stated, “We welcome the partnership with Manchester as Boston Pride celebrates its 48th year to celebrate & advocate for the LGBTQ community. It is important that Prides across the globe work together & share our experiences & best practices so that we can all become stronger together.” Mark Fletcher CEO Manchester Pride added, “It’s a great pleasure to join forces with Boston Pride this year in championing acceptance & equality across two continents. Manchester Pride is not only a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender life – it’s also one of the largest LGBT+ charities in the UK. Through working together with partners like Boston Pride we look forward to continuing our work to enrich LGBT+ lives across the globe” Nick Brooks-Sykes Manchester Director of Tourism concluded, “Manchester is thrilled to be partnering with Boston for this fantastic opportunity to celebrate the life & energy shared by the two cities. Like Boston, Manchester is not only home to a proud & welcoming LGBT+ community, but also a flourishing cultural offer, an incredible dining & nightlife scene & a year-round calendar of unforgettable events.” Manchester Pride takes place August 24th to 27th  For Info…
For Boston Pride Info: bostonpride.org
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Friday, June 8, 2018

LGBTQ Love & Acceptance Concert

Country music legend Vince Gill surprised the crowd with a message for our LGBTQ community at GLAAD & Ty Herndon’s Concert for Love & Acceptance in Nashville at the Wildhorse Saloon last night. They were joined by country music stars Tanya Tucker, Cody Alan, Terri Clark, Billy Dean, Michael Ray & more speaking out for LGBTQ acceptance during LGBTQ Pride Month. Following an iconic performance from Tanya Tucker, Vince Gill received a standing ovation as host Ty Herndon introduced him to close the show. Gill stated, “As a young child I always heard the words that we are all created equal. I believed that as a little boy & I believe that as a grown man.” Zeke Stokes, GLAAD’s Vice President of Programs & Executive Producer of the 2018 Concert for Love & Acceptance stated, “At GLAAD we know that music has the power to change hearts & minds & all of the country music superstars who spoke & sang at the Concert for Love & Acceptance did just that. Last night’s concert was one for the record books with an amazing lineup of talent & we can’t wait to do it again next year.” The inaugural Concert for Love & Acceptance was held in 2015 to kick off GLAAD’s Southern Stories Tour. The event has been supported by artists including Reba McEntire, with a lineup of performances has included Chris Carmack, Desmond Child, Crystal Gayle, Billy Gilman, Dana Goldberg, Kree Harrison, Mickey Guyton, Levi Hummon, Runaway June, Ryan Kinder, Meghan Lindsey, Street Corner Symphony, Thompson Square & Trent Harmon. GLAAD's Southern Stories initiative tells the stories of LGBTQ people & their allies in the South to create a cultural shift towards LGBTQ acceptance & understanding in the region.
For More Info: glaad.org
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Marriage Equality Wins In Bermuda

After the British territory of Bermuda in February 2018 became the first jurisdiction in the world to announce a repeal of marriage equality causing their tourist industry to plummet the Bermuda Supreme Court decided in favor of OUTBermuda & its co-litigants in the case of Roderick Ferguson et al. v The Attorney General. Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD stated, “The Bermuda Supreme Court affirmed what we already know – that love can never be rolled back & that all loving & committed couples deserve the protections that only marriage affords. The hard work of local activists alongside strong action from cruise lines & companies that do business in Bermuda resulted in this tremendous victory over discrimination.” In a letter to lawmakers, the CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority warned of consequences for the tourism industry, citing economic fallout over anti-LGBTQ measures in the U.S. states of North Carolina & Indiana in 2016 & 2015. The letter stated, “Significantly, it’s not only LGBT travelers that care about equal rights based on sexual orientation. Our research indicates many companies, consumers & travelers, including the overwhelming majority of the younger visitors powering Bermuda’s growth, care about this issue. It’s why the fallout in North Carolina & Indiana has proven so detrimental.” International companies, including Carnival, also joined the effort to reinstate marriage equality & celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, Tegan & Sara, Patricia Arquette & more used their voices to call out the discriminatory repeal.
For More Info: outbermuda.com 
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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Driftwood LGBTQ Pride Event

 
To celebrate Pride Month “I'm From Driftwood” is collaborating with “Hornet” & “WeWork” to host "Share Your Pride: An LGBTQI+ Storytelling Event & Celebration" on Thursday June 14th at WeWork at 205 Hudson, 7th Floor in NYC from 6:30P to 9P. It’s an opportunity to socialize with a room full of proud LGBTQI+ folks, watch a Video Story & hear 4 live storytellers. The live storytellers will be Jamie Brickhouse a New York Times published writer, three-time Moth SLAM champion, voiceover actor on Beavis & Butthead & the author/performer of the award-winning memoir and solo show “Dangerous When Wet: Booze, Sex & My Mother”, his work has also been published in the Washington Post, Daily Beast, Out, Salon & POZ. Tatenda Ngwaru the Founder of “True Identity”, the first intersex & transgender organization in Zimbabwe. She fled her country in 2016, coming to the United States seeking asylum as a refugee. Today she's a motivational speaker & activist, specializing in advocating for the rights of LGBTQI refugees & intersex individuals. Tarik Daniels who has performed at Gotham Comedy Club & The Stonewall Inn, he's also featured in the web series GAYS & Next Level Anxiety. An "unapologetically Black, unapologetically queer" writer, he uses his work to tell the "struggles & mistreatment of black queer man in America" and also performing will be Richard Eric Weigle an award-winning film producer whose films have screened on four continents, he is also one of the organizers of The Greenwich Village Film Festival held in October every year. A resident of Greenwich Village for 44 years, he has been president of The Grove Street Block Association for almost 20 years. The event is free but you must register. 
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

30th Lambda Literary Award Winners

Lambda Literary the nation's leading organization advancing LGBTQ literature announced the winners of the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the "Lammys"). Comedian Kate Clinton hosted the ceremony at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City where attendees, sponsors & celebrities celebrated thirty years of groundbreaking LGBTQ literature. Roxane Gay & Edmund White were honored with Lambda's Trustee & Visionary Awards. Rick Whitaker introduced Edmund White with a tribute composed entirely from sentences found in Mr. White's books. Accepting the Visionary Award, White stated, "Contained in the word novel is novelty & lesbian & gay writers have been lucky to write about this new world." Later, Rebecca Solnit introduced Roxane Gay, who won the Trustee Award. Solnit stated, "The word encourage literally means to instill courage & Roxane's work is marked by both courage & encouragement." During her acceptance speech, Gay stated "As a woman, as a black woman, as a queer woman, writing has offered me salvation & sanctuary. I want queer writers to create the work that they want to put into the world, regardless if all of the work does or does not meet the expectations of those who read it." The Lammys brought out the stars from the worlds of film, television, theatre, journalism & literature. Presenters this year included Alison Bechdel (MacArthur Fellow & award-winning author of Fun Home); Rebecca Solnit (award winning author & contributing editor at Harper's Magazine); actor Taylor Trensch (actor, Dear Evan Hansenon Broadway); Pamela Sneed (award winning poet); Kate Bornstein (iconic trans activist and writer) & more.
For More Info & Winners List…
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Monday, June 4, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court LGBTQ Prejudice

The U.S. Supreme Court took a giant step backwards in civil rights today by supporting LGBTQ discrimination in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission with a vote of 7-2. Nick Little, Center for Inquiry Legal Director stated, “The Supreme Court missed a major chance today to reaffirm decades of civil rights jurisprudence. Jack Phillips opens his business to the public. He doesn’t get to decide to refuse to serve gay people, or interracial couples, or people of different religions. The Court has focused on comments made in the state proceedings & in so doing has granted privilege based on religion. Phillips received a fair hearing by both the commission & the appeals court. An individual’s displeasure that religion should be used as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens doesn’t change that. The underlying facts of this case are clear. Religious preferences don’t provide businesses an excuse to ignore civil rights legislation. It’s just a shame the Court couldn’t bring itself to say so. Instead states have been told they must show neutrality towards religion, but have been given no guidance on how to do that in the face of religiously based desires to discriminate.” Robyn Blumner, CFI’s President & CEO concluded, “Unfortunately, the Court has provided us with no clarity. Americans need our courts to defend anti-discrimination laws. Religion must not be used as an excuse to opt out of the law.”
For More Info: centerforinquiry.net
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Sunday, June 3, 2018

SAGE Celebrates 40 Fierce Years

SAGE has been at the forefront of LGBT issues, fighting & winning on behalf of older LGBT people across the country since its inception in 1978. This year during National LGBT Pride month SAGE is celebrating 40 fierce years with the launch of a new website, a commemorative anniversary edition of SAGE Matters Magazine, a match campaign supported by the Edie Windsor Challenge Fund & several special events throughout the year. Michael Adams SAGE CEO stated, “We are forever indebted to our pioneers—our elders—for paving the way to so many historic LGBT victories. As we commemorate SAGE’s 40 years, we celebrate our important wins & keep our eye toward the future. In the face of renewed ignorance, bigotry & bankrupt leadership in Washington, D.C., we must continue our work with dogged determination until all LGBT elders are treated with dignity & respect.” Since our LGBTQ community has been erased from the Trump administration it is crucial that more LGBT elders can access what they need to age well. SAGE’s new website offers lifesaving tools for LGBT elders & those who care for them, including an interactive U.S. map of housing resources & comprehensive information for LGBT caregivers. Among the many events scheduled in celebration of its anniversary SAGE will commemorate 40 fierce years at its annual gala on October 15th this year honoring George Takei with the Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement award. Also, on November 8th SAGE will hold its annual national intergenerational SAGE Table, gathering thousands of LGBT people & their allies to share meals & discuss challenges, opportunities & the future.
For More Info:sageusa.org
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Friday, June 1, 2018

Louisville Kentucky First Pride Logo

Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched its first LGBTQ Pride logo. The Louisville CVB’s standard logo has been modified by adding the six colors featured on the traditional Pride flag to the fleur de lis in the organization’s logo. The fleur-de-lis, which means “Lily Flower” was the symbol of King Louis XVI of France whom the city is named after. This idea stemmed from the Louisville CVB’s LGBTQ Hospitality Task Force which was created in 2014 to assist in promoting the city as an LGBTQ-friendly destination. Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau stated, “Louisville has a long history of being an accepting & inclusive city. This initiative is just another opportunity to show visitors our Southern hospitality & that we are a welcoming destination to everyone.” This same group was behind “Say I Do In Lou,” an initiative that was launched in 2015 on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Marriage Equality. The contest awarded one couple an all-expenses-paid wedding sponsored by more than a dozen local businesses. The 18th annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival will be held June 15th & 16th at its new location on the Big Four Lawn at Louisville’s internationally-acclaimed Waterfront Park. A portion of the proceeds from the new Pride logo t-shirts sold at the festival will benefit the Kentuckiana Pride Foundation whose mission is to provide a forum for creative expression & education relating to the LGBTQ community in the Louisville Metropolitan Area & to give back through charitable & in-kind donations.
For More Info…
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