GREENBRIER COUNTY (WVDN) – Last year, Greenbrier Valley Pride (GVP) brought the area’s first Pride parade and festival to the Greenbrier Valley.
Organizers and volunteers came together to make a Pride celebration in downtown Lewisburg happen in 29 days. This year, the nonprofit has organized a week of celebrations to give LGBTQIA+ people and allies a week of events to celebrate life, love, and community.
This year’s theme is Holler with Pride.
“As we kickoff Pride season in the GBV, I encourage everyone to reflect on what this week means to you, your place in our community, and the importance of your visibility,” Brian Perdue, vice president of GVP, says. “Pride is having confidence in your authentic self. In the words of Harvey Fierstein, ‘Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life. Define yourself.”
This year, GVP is offering people a week to celebrate Pride. There will be events in Lewisburg, Ronceverte, and White Sulphur Springs for LGBTQIA+ people and allies.
“It’s really amazing that a year ago, we had no idea what was going on or how our event was going to turn out or how much that Greenbrier Valley Pride would impact our area.” Kelsie Tyson, president of GVP, says. “In a year, we’ve been to school board meetings; we’ve been to city council meetings. We’ve fostered so much not only for queer people but for everyone to get to know about the queer experience, to have queer experience. It’s helped people to be proud and feel like they have people to be around and be friends with. I’m really excited for this year. It’s just great that we’re really making history and we’re changing lives and I want everyone to be a part of it.”
Here is a list of events being held this week to help the Greenbrier Valley celebrate Pride:
June 22 – “But I’m A Cheerleader” movie showing at Briergarten, 6 p.m.
June 23 – Drag Story Hour at Love Child, 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
June 24 – Pride by the River at Ronceverte Island Park, 6 p.m.
June 25 – Holler With Pride annual Pride parade and festival, 3-7 p.m.
June 25 – Pride after party drag and dance at Hill and Holler, 9 p.m.
June 26 – Pride worship service at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 11 a.m.
June 26 – Pride costume stretch party and Pilates with Chris Rodriguez-Stanley at Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center, 3 p.m.