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Sunday, June 25, 2017

OSU small town (gay) Pride event is 'family friendly'

Corvallis Pride front page newspaper story Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jun. Jun. 25, 2017, p. A1, A12

PHOTO: Oregon State University, with an enrollment of 30,000 students, is located in the small college town of Corvallis, Oregon, with a population of about 50,000 residents, but it is still big enough to hold a "family friendly" (gay) Pride event in June. See the local professional newspaper story by Lillian Schrock, "Pride Corvallis holds a picnic in the park. Celebration of Pride: Corvallis event attracts hundreds to Starker Arts Park," Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jun. Jun. 25, 2017, p. A1, A12 posted Jun. 24, 2017 as "Young and old picnic in the park for Pride Corvallis", which includes links to videos and photo galleries. The newspaper article says, "Dharma Mirza . . . was picnicking in the park for Pride Corvallis, a family-friendly event to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. As a Muslim transgender woman ... She said the queer community saved her life by helping her overcome a drug addiction, homelessness and sex work. ... Mirza, who is HIV positive, is a board member of the Valley AIDS Information Network, Inc. She also founded Haus of Dharma, which puts on drag shows and advocates on behalf of the transgender and queer community. She planned to host a drag show following the picnic. Hillary Fishler, who organized Saturday's picnic, said she wanted the substance-free event to be a calm, safe space for people of all ages and identities. She hoped the event would bridge the divide between university students and the Corvallis community."

As somebody who is old enough to recall the 1969 Stonewall riot in New York City, and the first Gay Pride celebrations, it is a marvel at how far Pride has come. When i was living in San Francisco in the in the 1980's the very gay Castro Street would fill with drunken revelers for June gay pride events. I left during the AIDS crisis and so I do not know if S.F. still has some gay merrymakers to celebrate LGBTQI+ Pride Month in both a traditional manner as well as a "family friendly" way.