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Savannah supports, celebrates LGBTQ

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:08 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - This week marks the first full week of Pride Month, a time to celebrate and honor members of the LGBTQ community.

Pride Month stems from the uprising at Stonewall Inn back in June of 1969, a pivotal turning point for equal rights.

The first Pride Festival in Savannah was in 2019. After the year off for COVID last year, it’s coming back even bigger this year for the second festival. It will all take place on the last weekend in October. The festival will kick off Friday night with the Gay Pride Parade down River Street, ending at Ellis Square. Festivities will continue on Saturday with the pet parade and dog costume competition. Throughout the day there will music entertainment, drag performances, vendors, food and drinks.

“It is the biggest, loudest, grandest gay pride event this city has ever seen. We are going to make it even better this year because there is so much pent-up desire for it after having sat out for a year. Everyone was like, it was so much fun in 2019, what are we going to do this year? We are going to do the same thing, only it is going to be bigger and better,” said Chip Colley, Co-Chairman of First City Pride Center.

Even though the big festival isn’t happening until October due to the heat, there will still be plenty going on this month at the First City Pride Center. During the pandemic, the center had to move many of its services online, so they are excited to start offering some of their services back in the building. They offer HIV testing at the center and have partnered with Georgia Southern University to offer counseling services to the LGBTQ community.

Starland Medical Practice has also teamed up with First City Pride to help offer services to youth who are transitioning.

While these services are available year-round, Pride Month is a time to thank those that help make it possible and let people know First City Pride is there to help.

“There are many people who are ashamed because they were taught to be ashamed and they need to be around other people to show them they can be proud to be gay. There is nothing wrong with it, there is nothing wrong with being gay and that is why we need a month to get out there, tell people and give them opportunities to celebrate who they are, celebrate that they get to love who they want to love and to celebrate the freedoms that they have to be themselves,” Colley said.

And after this difficult year with COVID, First City Pride Center is asking for help with donations and volunteers in honor of Pride Month. For more information about FCPC services and how you can help, click here.

The 2021 Savannah Pride Festival will take place October 28-30. For more information, click here.

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