The Fourth Annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival will be held on July 9th in downtown Hilo with the theme “Live, Love, Be”. The celebration will begin at noon, followed by a festival at the Mo’oheau Park Bandstand featuring live music, food, crafts, information booths, and a play area for keiki.
“Everyone is invited to join us in celebration of LGBT Pride,” said Greg Lupton, Hawaii Island Pride Committee Chair. “Whether you’re gay, trans, genderqueer, or an ally — this is our chance to join together in a colorful chorus of pride and creativity.”
This year’s celebration will feature a drag show and live music from GLB&T (Groovy Lesbian Band & Tim), Puna Men’s Chorus, Bruddah Kuz Band, and Soulstice Band. Any individuals or organizations who want to walk in the parade can submit a free parade entry form online and arrive by 11am.
Big Island’s transgender community will be specifically honored at this year’s celebration. “The trans community has fought for gender and sexual equality for generations,” said Sadie Dossett, a genderqueer student at UH Hilo. “Gender nonconformity is a lightning rod for hate-filled legislation and homophobic violence. Being honored at the Parade is a great step towards creating a more accepting and inclusive community.”
“Pride is even more important than ever in the aftermath of this month’s tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando,” said Josslyn Cruz, Big Island Puerto Rican Diva. “Many of us have looked hatred in the eyes and could’ve easily been victims ourselves. Orlando is the latest in a pattern of homophobic violence our LGBT people, and we refuse to let haters cloud our pride.”
In addition to this year’s parade and festival, Hawaii Island Pride will also be hosting a Peace Vigil for Victims of Hatred on Sunday, July 10th. The public is invited to light a candle to honor lives lost in Orlando and across the world in the fight for equality.
Additional information about Hawaii Island Pride can be found at HawaiiIslandPride.org or on Facebook.