Memorial Day weekend on Pensacola Beach is a source of Pride
This past Memorial Day weekend, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies flocked to Pensacola Beach to celebrate the annual Pride event held along the shores. Known as Memorial Weekend Pensacola, the event draws in thousands, with some years reaching over 100,000 attendees.
LGBTQ+ individuals have celebrated Pride on Pensacola Beach since the 1980s. The event seems to grow larger every year.
“It’s a celebration of all and everything,” said Edward Porterfield of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. “All people, everything.”
“Pride means an opportunity to be open about who I am without being afraid of repercussions for showing my true self."Amir, Pensacola
“Pride means that you can express yourself and be who you are,” said Nina from Seattle. “You can just enjoy the community of people who are around you and you can build community as well. I feel like people are just so inclusive, they are so friendly in any corner of Pride, and that’s truly what I love. As a queer adult, you don’t really get that a lot of the time.”
“I think Pride is a good way of just articulating the freedom and liberation that queer people have, like myself.”Darien, Atlanta
“To me, Pride is mostly just about supporting my friends who are in that community and coming out here with them,” said Valentine from Atlanta.
“Pride means getting here, bringing the right amount of people around you, and just sharing the love of being who we are,” said Danny of New Orleans.
“For me, Pride means being around a lot of people who all accept each other for their sameness or differences, and just embracing that we’re all a part of this one big thing, as vague as that sounds.”Rica, Alabama
“We just really enjoy coming out here and relaxing,” said Ebony of New Orleans. “Getting away from our usual day-to-day and just being around all the gays, that’s the best part.”
“We didn’t actually know it was Pride weekend when we got here, but it looks like a lot of people are enjoying themselves and expressing love, so we’re all about that,” said Janet from Mobile, Alabama. “We don’t have a problem with that.”
Through the Lens is a photo essay series from WUWF Public Media