Atlanta to host 44th annual Pride

Cait Buckalew, Campus Carrier Assistant Entertainment Editor

On Monday, the Supreme Court chose not to hear cases from five states regarding the continuation of their same-sex marriage bans. The court’s decision made it possible for same-sex couples in Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana and Utah to receive marriage licenses. 

Students can celebrate this step towards marriage equality by attending Atlanta Pride this weekend. 

Atlanta Pride’s first event was held in 1970. Participants gathered a year after the Stonewall Riots in New York City. The first Atlanta Pride march was held the next year and ran from Peachtree Street to Piedmont Park. Pride attendance has grown over the years, reaching approximately 200,000 attendees in 2007. Previously held in June, the event was relocated to the Atlanta Civic Center in 2008 and told it could return to Piedmont Park if it rescheduled to October. It has been held in October every year since. In 2010 it moved to the second weekend of the month to correspond with National Coming Out Day. 

                                                                             Photo courtesy of Atlanta Pride Committee
A 2011 Atlanta Pride participant rides a motorized scooter showcasing the gay pride flag
along the Atlanta Pride Parade route, which runs from Peachtree Street to Piedmont Park. 

This year, Atlanta Pride will once again coincide with National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11.  The weekend’s official kickoff is Oct. 10 at 7pm at the Georgia Aquarium and is sold out.  

Atlanta Pride’s marches begin on Saturday with the Trans March.  The Trans March is a parade highlighting the transgender community. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender is “a term for people whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth.” The Trans March aims to showcase and celebrate these individuals while promoting their visibility in society. The parade will gather at 1:15 p.m. at the Charles Allen Gate of Piedmont Park and will step off at 1:45 p.m. 

The next march to step off will be the Dyke March. The Dyke March is a parade for all women, transgender women included, of all backgrounds to celebrate loving other women. The march will gather at 5:30 p.m. and step off at 6 p.m. from the Charles Allen Gate of Piedmont Park. 

The Atlanta Pride Parade gathers at 10:30 a.m. and steps off at 1 p.m. from the Civic Center MARTA Station. This parade features the groups who applied to participate earlier in the year. Other attendees gather on the sidewalks to watch the parade, which officially ends at the Charles Allen Gate of Piedmont Park. 

Throughout the Atlanta Pride festival there will be a marketplace in Piedmont Park featuring over 200 vendors. The marketplace will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day. Coca-Cola is sponsoring a stage that will feature performers such as Meghan Trainor, Colbie Callait and Lea Delaria. 

The Atlanta Pride Festival will officially conclude with a party featuring disc jockey duo ROSABEL hosted at Opera Nightclub, 1150 Crescent Avenue NE in Atlanta. The closing party will begin at 9 p.m. and end at 3 a.m. 

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