On Wednesday, June 9th, we sat on the Winchester Town Common absolutely bursting with pride as we celebrated Winchester’s first ever Pridefest, organized and run by the NFSJ interns and McCall student members of the McCall Social Justice Club and QSA. The event, with over 300 community members in attendance, was inclusive, poignantly honest, and celebratory. It was also a testament to the leadership, vision, and tenacity of the student organizers and their faculty advisors.
The mainstage performers alternated between musical acts, a drag performance by Drag King Allister, and speeches by youth from McCall’s QSA club and WHS’s Spectrum club who embodied the spirit of pride as they shared their truths with the audience. In addition to the mainstage, there were booths around the periphery of the Common where people could make pride crafts, educate themselves, and learn about LBGTQIA+ activism, presence in the media and impact on the arts, and all participants were invited to collect stamps in a pridefest passport by answering trivia questions. Our favorite quote of the evening came from David Blitzman, a transgender activist, who implored the audience to “choose people who choose you.”
Thank you to everyone who lent their voice and energy to making Winchester’s first PrideFest all that it was.