Written for The Argo by Zuleika Rodriguez Garcia
On Friday, April 22, Stockton’s Pride Alliance hosted its final event of Pride Week 2023 programming, Pride Fest, outside of the TRLC Quad. The event featured carnival games, food, and rides for attendees, as well as tables from local LGBTQ+ resources and organizations.
Van Nhi Ho and Shannon Glover, the event organizers, explained that their goal with the event was to give the LGBTQ+ community more visibility on campus. “We don’t get pride month, so it’s a way of giving us that week,” they explained. Multiple attendees expressed their gratitude for the event during their time there.
The Pride Fest 2023 project was funded by the Compass Fund, which is why Ho and Glover placed an emphasis on the importance of swiping people into their programming and logging student attendance in an effort to demonstrate the need to make this an annual celebration of queer culture and inclusion. “Five days of five queer events can garner support and create a festival…hopefully, it can be annual,” explained Ho, “it’s a week where we can be proud, be queer, be here, be happy, and supported.”
Other Pride Week 2023 programs included queer trivia, a coming out campfire, a drag queen showdown, and paint your pride. The festival served as a conclusion to the week’s celebrations.
All of the week’s programming was free to enter. At the outdoor festival, attendees were able to enjoy free games, food, prizes, and live music. The organizing staff described that this was that way on purpose.
“Everything is free,” they stated, “It’s all about giving back to the community, especially with the narratives of trans and queer people in the media and politics with how often they are attacked.”
There is hope to make this an annual event with more help from the Compass Fund in the future. For more information on Stockton’s Pride Alliance organization, check out @Stockton_Pride_Alliance on Instagram.
Categories: Campus Life