Q&A with Grace Anshutz and Madison Partridge with Mountain Pride
Pride in the Park is this Saturday, June 18 from 12-7pm! In honor of the upcoming event, we sat down with Grace Anshutz and Madison Partridge to learn more about the Mountain Pride organization, the history of Pride Month, and how to further the success of our LBGTQIA+ community.
What is Mountain Pride and why is it such an important resource for the LBGTQIA+ community and those who love them?
Mountain Pride is an organization inspired and driven to serve the needs of our LGBTQIA+ communities. LGBTQIA+ people in small towns and rural communities face unique challenges in coming out and being out. Meanwhile, they frequently live in communities with few or no resources for LGBTQIA+ people, forcing them to travel long distances to access the services and care they need.
How is Mountain Pride working to support the LBGTQIA+ community?
Mountain Pride is addressing these challenges by increasing year-round programming for the LGBTQIA+ community in addition to the annual Pride in the Park. Mountain Pride is devoted to strengthening its foundation and expanding its reach as an organization by establishing supportive, safe spaces, enhancing family acceptance and understanding, and offering access to information, resources, and services. You can learn more about us at our website mountainpride.org
Can you tell us a bit about the history of Pride Month?
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Why is Pride Month important?
This is a month for our community to celebrate, reflect, and be proud of who you are, no matter where you are on your journey!
What advice can you give to allies who want to support the LGBTQIA+ community?
Not just during the month of June, but throughout the entire year, members of our LGBTQ+ community deserve a world and a community that loves them, values them, affirms them, respects them, and celebrates them for who they are. Whether you identify with the LGBTQ+ community yourself, have loved ones who do, or just want to be a better ally, it is so important to do everything we can to educate ourselves, keep an open mind, and support others.
It's hard to believe there were no pride celebrations in the Vail Valley prior to 2020. How did Pride in the Park get started?
In 2020, Britny Rose, Eagle County Pride's - Pride in the Park inaugural organizer and a local transgender woman, inquired about Eagle County not having a pride festival. Within seven days of asking that question, she organized a successful pride festival attended by hundreds.
How did Mountain Pride become the organization it is today?
This resulted in the formation of a "Pride Committee ''composed of Eagle County residents committed to growing and strengthening the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies in Eagle County. Eagle County Pride hosted a variety of social events, meet-and-greets, and self-care activities such as yoga and dancing classes. Resulting from the success of our outreach efforts and the desire to serve as a resource for the neighboring communities, our organization grew to serve not only the LGBTQIA+ communities in Eagle County but also the LGBTQIA+ communities throughout the mountains of Colorado, prompting us to change our name to Mountain Pride and seek 501(c)3 status.
Tell us about the big event: Pride in the Park!
Pride in the Park is a day-long celebration, accompanied by a week of activities, that draws visitors from throughout the mountains of Colorado. Saturday's celebration and the week's jam-packed schedule of activities are designed to keep everyone interested and engaged. Numerous local organizations, businesses, and vendors participate in the celebration. The Drag Show and Parade around Nottingham Lake are the festival's focal points.
How can the community get involved or support Mountain Pride?