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Pride showed up and showed out this year with Queens and Kings shining in gold, silver and every color of the rainbow. There were thousands and thousands of people that attended the two day festival in Tulsa, according to Monday morning’s radio announcement on 106.9. Big Freedia blessed the stage with her bounce-alicious moves. She graced the crowd in her glittery top and bright eyeshadow to match.
Before her headline performance on June 25th, members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies participated in rainbow fun runs and bike races. The bright sunny afternoon was followed by a rainy day the next afternoon. However, it did not rain on their parade. At 12:00 p.m, they opened the Gates to the gays under the clear sun. The rain made an appearance again before the parade, however, it was nowhere to be found amongst the floats.
Sponsors, organizations and nonprofits handed out free stuff on one side of the street, while artists and vendors lined the other. Each tent came with a smile and a welcome. Colors were swirling through the six-block radius through the outfits and capes of attendees. The festival even included a 918 sculpture, paying homage to the local area code.
Tents at Tulsa Pride
The first tent gave out free calendars that spread HIV awareness. There was a Diversity Family Health tent, a tent for Planned Parenthood, Crystal Meth Anonymous, Empowered Voices, Take Control Initiative, Tulsa Cares and so many more.
Tulsa Threat, a women’s tackle football team, and Tulsa Women’s Rugby Football Club showed up and out for the athletes. Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform as well as PRIDE and Criminal Justice Reform in Oklahoma were present to raise awareness about the criminalization and over-policing of LGBTQIA+ communities.
Moreover, Oklahoma Fosters encouraged patrons to share their abundant love by caring for others, and one of the largest sponsors, Euphora, gave out stickers and discounts for their dispensary. Artists like Scott Taylor Art Gallery and Carl Jackson sold their canvases and prints for everyone. But that wasn’t even the half of it.
There were Drag Shows and live performances all day, with one drag king holding up “love” and “black lives matter” signs while spinning like Michael Jackson. He nodded at the audience as they waved for him to take their dollar bills.
Tulsa Pride Parade
The most flamboyant drag was strutting east on 4th Street during the Tulsa Pride Parade at 6:00 p.m. on June 26th. Again, the rain had cleared out and made way for the sponsors, organizations and proud queer marchers. There were roller skates, stilts, monster cars, puppy cars and even more.
Ultimately, Pride was filled with many different fits and performances that were as diverse as the colors on the rainbow. Furry friends were present as well as children. It was an all ages and all species friendly event. It was difficult not to walk the streets and be proud, therefore, Tulsa Pride did its job.
This year also marked the first time the Tulsa Police Department led and participated in Pride.