It’s Pride season and many cities across the world have already began their celebrations.
Next week, Atlanta, Georgia will be joining these cities by celebrating their third annual Southern Fried Queer Pride festival.
Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP) is an organization by and for LGBTI individuals of color. Taylor Alxndr, SFQP’s co-founder and executive director, grew tired of the corporatization of LGBTI Pride and wanted to create a more localized, community-funded, ‘homegrown’ event.
‘We saw there was a lack of space for queer and trans people of color, especially black people, to have our own experiences, to feel valid,’ Alxndr said.
‘We don’t accept money from major corporations that may want to tamper with our mission and our goals,’ Alxndr explains. ‘A lot of corporations want to give you a certain amount of money, but they want to have a certain amount of space in your program or maybe water down your political message. We definitely don’t want to do that.’
The five-day festival, to begin on 23 May, will feature a pop-up thrift shop, a social for Latinx LGBTI people, a potluck for trans and nonbinary people, a gallery exhibition on digital queerness, a dance party, and more.
The way the festival is organized is entirely through members of the community, who pitch ideas for workshops, presentations, and panels they want to host or include.
The success of the annual SFQP festival has inspired other Southern states to participate as well. North Carolina may be hosting their own satellite version of the event.
‘People are really drawn to things that they can connect with; more grassroots things, more community-based things have that closer connection,’ Alxndr states. ‘In the current political climate we’re in, I think building resilience and building these strong bonds as a community are more important than ever.’