Happy Pride Memphis!
This past weekend was Mid South Pride here in Memphis, TN. This was my first time celebrating pride outside of NYC and also my boyfriend's first pride ever. So of course we had to partake in the festivities since this is my first year here in this beautiful diverse city.
Our organization is big on celebrating and welcoming all walks of life, so this year we hosted our second annual LGBTQ+ party to celebrate the Latinx and minority community who are underrepresented in this community. But this year we were able to partner up with the Mid South Pride board and become an official pride sanctioned event for the first time. We gathered our troops, put on our Latino country flags and had fun at our tent and marched down the parade on Beale St. Such an empowering feeling and awesome time to be alive to witness so many beautiful people come together to help you celebrate your truth.
I met so many beautiful Memphians and other southern city residents at the festival. Truly enjoyed seeing everyone be so festive and the diversity in age, race, families, companies and organizations come together for one purpose, and that is to celebrate this beautiful community.
Among the field of food trucks I was only able to find one vegan option that wasn't a dessert. Obviously, you can never go wrong with a burger and fries! So thankful to the nice man who was making these, I appreciate you for helping to satisfy my hunger.
Later on in the evening, Errol and I went to eat some Vietnamese food with one of my coworkers. We decided to go to Pho Binh, a restaurant I've heard of a couple of times but haven't had the chance to visit yet. Now, let me start off by saying Memphis has some really awesome hole in the wall restaurants. Pho Binh is definitely one of them! From the amazing customer service by the owners to the deliciously prepared food. The owner was sure to let me know what was vegan and even when she brought over some dips that weren't vegan, she made sure to let me know so I wouldn't accidentally dip some food into it. We decided to go with the lemongrass tofu, kung pao tofu, & pineapple tofu with a side of vegan veggie spring rolls. This was a much needed meal to regain my energy for the rest of the night. I'll definitely return for more!
Then it was party time! My coworkers and I came together to help create an amazing event, that we call like to call PRISMA! This event was thought of so that we could help create a safe place for others in the Latinx, minority, allies and friends to come together and celebrate themselves. I had the opportunity to work with two phenomenal drag queens, Iris Le'fleur & Moth, who helped host the night and created a fun event for all in attendance. Everything from the performances, music choices, audience and the party was nothing short of fabulous!
Before visiting Errol in Memphis a few years back I thought, "this southern city cannot be very accepting of me"... to my dismay, I was so wrong! I have been welcomed with open arms. As an openly proud gay individual it is very comforting to be so welcomed by your coworkers, friends, and the city. This just goes to show that we can't be afraid to venture outside of our comfort zones and that not all people think the same. It's events like these that help create change and a safer place for those like myself and my boyfriend to be able to hold hands, hug, or even walk next to each other without having the fear of being tormented or hurt by others just for being ourselves. So let's keep working towards that equality we all deserve. Together we can help create change in this world and open more eyes to see that we are all in this together.
Highlights of Mid South Pride 2017:
Working (really more like celebrating lol) at a pride festival
Spending time with Errol at his first pride
Meeting many Memphian LGBTQ + Allies
Sharing my Puerto Rican culture with the community
Bringing awareness to the Latinx LGBTQ+ community
The opportunity for LGBTQ couples and families to be free and proud, just like myself & Errol got to be
Marching in the parade! Secretly, my fave
Until next year!