By ANNA DILLANE
Every community has its defining moments. Los Alamos has had a few. One recent defining moment occurred in June of 2018.
I had the honor of being part of a small group of dedicated people who put together the first-ever Los Alamos celebration of Pride. For the first time in Los Alamos history, this community was given an opportunity to stand up and tell our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer + (LGBTQ+) family members, friends, coworkers and neighbors; “We see you! WE SUPPORT YOU! You are one of us!”
Hundreds of people, from babies to retirees, came out that day to show their support. Some people came out of the closet while others just held their arms open for healing hugs and to offer acceptance. It was a beautiful day. It was a day where our young people found out this might not be such a scary place to be different. It was a day where members of a community who are often threatened for their very existence could look around and see hundreds of people who they knew accepted them just as they are. It was a day for a community to come together and say aloud, “You belong. We love you”.
We all know that one three hour Festival is not enough. We have to integrate acceptance into every day. We have to bridge gaps and institute change. We have to create systems that protect the vulnerable. The Friends of Los Alamos Pride (FLAP) group has been working on that all year. Join them if you can. Attend meetings to help change our town into a more inclusive place for ALL residents.
This year’s Pride will be a weeklong celebration. There will be many events including ‘Hung like a Seahorse’ Monday June 10. This is a one man show by the amazing Quinn Fontaine, who talks about life as a trans man with raw honesty, a huge heart and so much humor. Tuesday June 11, Hella Bella takes over the stage at the Pond. Hella Bella is an amazing and talented Drag band out of Santa Fe featuring the vocal prowess of Bella Gigante whose voice is as big and beautiful as her persona!
Having a drag band here for a Tuesday at the Pond is a true Los Alamos first. There also will be an interfaith roundtable discussion about religion and the LGBTQ+ community, such an important topic and an amazing opportunity for healing. There will be events every day or night of pride geared to all interests and ages.
The week will culminate with a three-hour Pride Festival at the grassy quad area in Central Park Square (directly adjacent to Unquarked Wine bar). The concert at the pond that night also is sponsored by Pride. It will be a week to remember! It will be a week to fuel our LGBTQ+ friends and families through the rest of the year so they remember – they are not alone.
All this takes a lot of work and some money. A wonderful group of volunteers has been meeting for months and putting in the man hours and the blood, sweat and tears to bring all of this to Los Alamos. What they need is money. They need money for bringing performers to Los Alamos, renting stages and sound systems, buying food and supplies, printing flyers, buying banners, buying wood, paint and crafts materials and so much more.
This is where yo come in! You too can show your support of this community. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/pride-los-alamos and make your donation today. Give generously from your heart. Help put together a week of Pride celebrations that tell the world that Los Alamos is a kind, loving, inclusive and accepting place!
Let this GoFundMe show our LGBTQ+ friends and family that we do care!
All money donated to this GoFundMe will go to the cause, whether it reaches the goal, but wouldn’t it feel good to actually exceed the goal so that this can be a week that lives on through out the year? A week that tells our young people, Los Alamos is a safe place! You are one of us and you are perfect, just the way you are!