Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to participate in Decorah’s very first PRIDE. The parade, which began at two, welcomed anyone to participate. Many of my friends marched with various Luther organizations and clubs while others marched with close friends and family. I really enjoyed how inclusive the parade was. You didn’t have to be associated with an organization to participate. Once the parade was over, all were welcome to meet outside of the Oneota Co-op.
Outside of the Co-op involved many activities. There were a number of diverse speakers who talked about their experiences as a part of the LGBTQ community and the struggles they face on a daily basis. Some speakers were current Luther students others alumni, and some community members. There was also a face painting station that was free of charge. Luther College choir members were asked to meet before the parade to rehearse music to perform at PRIDE. Once everyone met outside of the Co-op, choir members gathered and performed two songs. More music was provided by Luther students and dancing was encouraged. Music is a powerful tool that can bring people together and bring awareness to social issues, and I am so happy we were able to utilize that power at PRIDE.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Decorah’s first PRIDE. I liked how inclusive the parade was and the diversity each speaker provided. Meeting outside the Co-op allowed me to meet so many new people, some with experiences very similar to my own. It puts my mind at ease knowing that I am not alone. I am positive that Decorah PRIDE provided comfort for many other people as well. I am already looking forward to PRIDE next year!