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L.G.B.T.Q.+ Pride on Display Once Again

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 11:46
At the 2022 Pride parade in East Hampton Village
Durell Godfrey

Building on the resounding success of last year's inaugural event, Hamptons Pride is once again hosting a parade through East Hampton Village and a big after-party in Herrick Park on Saturday to celebrate L.G.B.T.Q.+ individuals and allies at the start of Pride Month.

Participants will line up along Main Street and Pondview Lane starting at 11 a.m., with step-off time at noon in front of the Presbyterian Church. The route proceeds down Main Street and onto Newtown Lane, then Railroad Avenue, ending at Herrick Park near the long-term parking lot.

June is known as Pride Month across the country, promoting widespread acceptance and appreciation of the L.G.B.T.Q.+ community and those who support it. It originated in 1994 as a way to acknowledge the history of gay rights progress, notably the protests at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in June 1969. The New York City Pride parade is planned for Sunday, June 25.

"It's all about visibility and about the visibility of support — how many people identify as L.G.B.T.Q.+, how many people are allies, how much support and love there is," said Tom House of Springs, the president and founder of Hamptons Pride and a teacher at the Bridgehampton School. "It's not just about acceptance, it's that we are embraced by many segments of the population. One day, we want 'L.G.B.T.Q.+ allies' to mean 'everyone.' "

This year's parade will feature even more groups representing public schools, libraries, arts organizations, and houses of worship. Mr. House is particularly looking forward to displays by the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor and the Guild Hall Teen Arts Council. This is particularly important for young L.G.B.T.Q.+ people to see and experience, he said.

"There's a real hometown, grassroots spirit," Mr. House said. "And that's what we need — especially for young people, we need them to see that businesses, the churches, all of these organizations, celebrate who they are and welcome them."

The Bridgehampton School's Marimba Ensemble, a highly sought-after musical group, will perform in the park after the parade ends. There will be food trucks, more music by D.J. Karin Ward, Hamptons Pride T-shirts for sale, and remarks by community members. Spectators have been asked to take their own blankets or folding chairs. It is to be a family-friendly and balloon-free event. 

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