It’s officially Pride Month. After more than a year without Pride Month festivities, members of the Baton Rouge LGBTQ+ community are eager to get back to big parades, concerts and celebrations—but they may have to wait a little bit longer for those local events.
Baton Rouge Pride canceled the annual Pride Fest for 2021, which normally takes place downtown. BR Pride Chair Chris Bradford says it’s a combination of indoor capacity event restrictions and the uncertainty surrounding vaccine availability that existed earlier this year while the group was planning its events.
“We really didn’t want to have 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 topics within the LGTBQ+ community, featuring a moderator and several changing panelists. The first event was held in May, but the events will continue throughout the year on the third week of each month. Bradford hopes the series will be in-person in the fall, but all discussions will still be recorded and posted online. The June 16 topic is “Transgressions: A history of Trans Identity.” Register for the event here.
The Bad Ass BR Drag Brunch is Sunday, June 6, and serves as a fundraiser for Pride Fest 2022 and other community events throughout the year. The brunch features a DJ, five drag queen performances, a special guest appearance by Quiana Lynell, bottomless mimosas and catering by The Chimes. Purchase your VIP or general admissions tickets here. Doors open at 11 a.m.
BR Pride will soon revive other popular events that existed before COVID-19, such as the Business After Hours networking event for LGBTQ+ business owners, as well as Drag Queen Story Time and the Orphan’s Christmas fundraiser to benefit the children at Diversity House. The organization is also planning a celebration for National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
As for Pride Fest 2022, Bradford’s already working on a vision board.
“We normally start planning in July, but we do have ideas,” Bradford says.
One of those ideas is to create a new theme for each year. Once the theme is finalized for 2022, there will be a theme announcement party 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 are going to come back with big and badass pride.”
For more on Baton Rouge Pride and all of its events, check out its website.