ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Happy Pride Month! The month of June commemorates the historic Stonewall Riots and what many believe to be the beginning of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. It is in this spirit that we celebrate what it means to be a member of this beautiful community, to remember those we have lost, and to look towards the future and what it holds for LGBTQIA+ people worldwide. This is one of many reasons behind our theme this year: “Solidarity Through Pride”.


Because of this strong belief in unity, solidarity, and community, Saint Louis PrideFest is remaining a free event that is open to all. Pride celebrations around the world are safe havens for the LGBTQIA+ community, allowing so many forms of self-expression in an inclusive, open environment. Love and peace abound, friendships are forged, and history is made. As the lights on the Civil Courts building are lit, in rainbow and in purple, so is a beacon that signals a new age of freedom and equality in this country. Forty-nine purple lights remind us of the lives lost in Orlando, but demand a renewed vigor in the fight for progress.

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During the year, PrideSTL is committed to maintaining this same spirit of celebration, pride, and solidarity in many different ways. Eighteen (18) students of many different ages received scholarships this year, totaling over $21,000. Educational seminars were held, teaching the community about a variety of topics and identities. Constructive and bridge-building town hall meetings took place. Community organizations without space of their own were able to hold events and meetings in a space provided for them. The Transgender Memorial Garden, through the Metro Trans Umbrella Group, became the first of its kind in the nation, and the second of its kind globally.


Each year, we’ve been so privileged to see the community grow, in size, in knowledge, and in unity. This is the 37th year of Pride St. Louis, and we’ve never been more committed to continuing these efforts and ensuring that future generations will be able to take advantage of the many resources in our diverse community. For decades, the generosity of the Saint Louis community has been unmatched, and each year, we are moved by the support shown. This year, we're depending on your continued generosity and support to ensure that we're able to do the many things we are committed to: awarding college scholarships, funding educational programs and events, and underwriting the many community efforts throughout each year.


Community organizations will be collecting $5 suggested donations at the entry plazas. Please strongly consider making at least the minimum $5 donation, or more if you are able to afford it. Look for the blue donation buckets at the entry plazas. You're also able to donate securely online using a debit or credit card at www.pridestl.org/donate. For more information about what we do each year, check out our website at www.pridestl.org.


Thank you for the many years of support and love. We wish each and every one of you a very Happy Pride, and we look forward to building community and growing together! Special thanks to The Gateway Foundation, Ironman Sound Industries and Mangrove Restoration for making the lighting of the civil courts building possible.


In Solidarity,


Matt Harper, Ethan Barnett, Jason Johnson, Christopher Smith, Todd Alan, Leon A. Braxton, Jr., Landon Brownfield, Jesse Doggendorf, Kevin Hirsch, Jennifer Reiss, Wolf Smith and Ellen Vanscoy

 

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