GSA, MHS students attend eighth annual Little Apple Pride

Elizabeth Alexander, Features Editor

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Waving flags to represent various orientations, wearing pride colors of their choosing and spreading their message, Manhattan High and Gay-Straight Alliance members attended Little Apple Pride this past weekend.

Started back in 2010, Little Apple Pride is an annual event that brings together Manhattan citizens of various orientations together and celebrates LGBT+ pride. Usually this event involves a parade before the actual celebration, but due to weather conditions, this “parade” become more of a “rally.” Nevertheless, attendees still had a blast.

“What [GSA] did was create a “Moving Forward Together” poster, and that was a lot of fun,” GSA president Cody Bell, senior, said. “We also passed out informational pamphlets about what GSA has been about over the past couple of years.”

Little Apple Pride has always worn a badge stating that it is a family-friendly event and any type of individual is welcome to attend. Anyone of any background, age and orientation is allowed, as long as the individual is willing to display appropriate and accepting behavior. Along with that, the celebration hosts several different events in hopes of appealing to everyone’s tastes.

“I liked watching all the drag queens and kings doing their little shows,” senior Allison Clauss said. “I was sad that I wasn’t able to do the parade this year since there wasn’t one, but all in all it was a really good pride [event].”

A well-known event that takes place during Little Apple Pride is the drag queen and king performances. Drag queens are typically male individuals who dress as women, usually for the means of entertainment, while drag kings are females who dress as men for the same purposes. It is also not uncommon to find guests coming by to speak on their behalf and explaining how their organizations and causes are related to Little Apple Pride.

“It was an amazing [atmosphere.] The environment and the aura was just really inclusive and there were people who all had the same mindset of acceptance,” senior Faithlyn Hoofard said. “It was all open. We didn’t have to worry about feeling unwanted.”

Little Apple Pride, over the years, has grown in the number of attendees and participants. Having started out with only about 10 or so attendees, numbers have grown to reach well into the hundreds. Children, adults, teens, students, seniors; a variety of guests from all over.

“It was a huge turnout compared to my first time going three years ago,” Hoofard said. “There were maybe 20 to 25 of us back then. But this time, it was packed. It was invigorating to see how much it has grown.”

As the numbers grow, the amount of publicity has skyrocketed, drawing in more guests and speakers over the years. Along with that, acceptance among Manhattan is definitely acknowledged as well.

“There are parents, aunts, cousins, everyone can go to pride,” Bell said. “And if they see that their family member is LGBT+, they might transfer acceptance, which will benefit our community.”

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GSA, MHS students attend eighth annual Little Apple Pride