Portraits of Pride September 12th, 2019 interviews by Karen Starr, photos by Shane Wynn Karen Starr asked everyone pictured here at Akron Pride on Aug. 24: “Why do you celebrate Pride?” These are their answers. Samantha Bartilson As a transgender woman who came out at 48, and who is now 51, and knowing the struggle that I had to go through to come out… I celebrate being here with fellow LGBTQ people and being able to see and empower the youth of the next generations. Omega I celebrate Pride to celebrate those before us who weren’t able to celebrate Pride. I celebrate the rebellion, the revolution that Pride is, was and always will be. Mona Delwest I celebrate Pride because it’s diversity – it brings everybody together – it’s Love. Jesus is Love, this is Love. It brings this whole world together and that’s why I celebrate it – to celebrate the love and friendship that I have gathered over the years. Cole Golden I celebrate Gay Pride because it is a part of our history, like Stonewall, 50 years ago. We have a friend in Cleveland, he was a part of it. And it is a part of our history and we cannot forget that. So I will forever support it. Sadie Tritt and Avery Rush Sadie: Pride is a time to just be yourself. No one can judge you – here, at least – it’s just very nice to be a part of the community, everybody is so nice. Avery: Nobody here is judgemental, I think. I feel like it’s a nice way to be yourself and show who you are and have pride. Lady Inferno I celebrate because I get to meet all these fun people and people that I wouldn’t normally see out and about, or in the club scene, if I hadn’t come here. It’s a place to feel accepted. I am having so much fun. This is like my actual first Pride I’ve been to and I’ve lived here all my life. Jenna Black Because I like to celebrate all the different kinds of people and who they love and basically everything that they’re about. This is like my third Pride, I’m pretty sure, and I just love coming here. As a fashion student, I just love seeing all the fun outfits and everything. Krystal Rockenfelder [Gestures to the exhibit tent behind her, honoring transpeople who were murdered in 2019] That’s why. Right there. Murdered. So we come out here and we show that we are not going to give into that. We’re just not. I just told a girl this, we were in there talking, and I’m not letting that stop me from going out in America and being who I am. So Pride is, “this is what we are.” Jacqueline Adams and Melanie English Jacqueline: I celebrate Pride because I’m all about equality and love. Melanie: I celebrate because I love the rainbows, I love the community and I love the LGBTQ community. The Great MC and Ethan Zimmerman The Great MC: Hey, we need support. My parents aren’t the most accepting of this so I come here to support the people who are also like me who also don’t have accepting parents. And this is a good time! Go around and meet new friends, I love being social. Ethan: Because I’m a furry and because my dads are gay and they raised me. Shawn Rehac and Johnny Yanok Shawn: To be quite honest with you, this is our first Pride ever, I’ve been out for 26 years but this is my first Pride in any city ever. I’m from Akron, I live here but I always had to work. And I’m a little beside myself at how many people are here – how many children are here. I think it’s just amazing and it’s built a little more pride in me. I would never shy from pride in the first place, but this inclusivity, this group of people, all feeling the same way, it’s amazing. I’m very, very happy we came. Johnny: I think it’s amazing to see this big of a turn out, for something like, as a teenager, I was so afraid to be out or come out…it’s a different time but it’s just so great to see people embracing this now. It’s like, these kids these days have… [tears up]… it’s so great. Danyel Vasquez I celebrate Pride because I’m f***ing fabulous! And I don’t care what anybody thinks of me. And we’re fabulous! The gay, LGBTQ community is fabulous. There’s nothing like it. Tell your friends:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.