Message of love and acceptance at LGBTQIA Pride festival

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One of the largest LGBTQIA Pride festivals in the country has wrapped up in downtown Columbus.

Members of the LGBTQIA community said they have a lot to celebrate this evening — they have overcome so much.

It’s a continous fight to counteract the negative sterotypes about members of the LGBTQIA community.

“That we are all some sort of sexual deviant,” said Mary St. Jaymes, one of the festival’s attendees. “That’s another huge misconception about us. Most of the drag queens I know are the sweetest, most innocent people you will ever meet.”

A message of love and acceptance is what she said she hopes people got from her during the Pride event.

“Coming out in drag, it gives people something that they can look to,” St. Jaymes said. “It gives them a beacon.”

St. Jaymes said there’s too much hate already thrown at LGBTQIA folks.

“We need to meet that with the love and support that we have, but we also need to show that by being visible,” she said.

Despite the weather, which drove some festivalgoers away, St. Jaymes, shielding herself with just a fan, chose to stay put and reflect on her own life as a member of the LGBTQIA community.

“Then I moved to Columbus and in immediately picked up drag and have been doing it for six years,” she said.

St. Jaymes uses her own personal experiences to inspire other struggling with their sexuality.

“I’ve been doing my best to foster that sense of community that I wanted growing up,” she said. “Not only for adults that didn’t have that, but children coming into their sexuality as well and teenagers and high school students.”

Another community pride event, put on by Black Queer and Intersectional Columbus (BQIC), was held at Mayme Park Saturday. It is the second year for that event.

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