Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pridefest 2007

Here are a few pictures of the PrideFest, with captions!

At left is the Center West booth with all their nifty Pride great, at the right is a tent shared by Integrity South Dakota (that would be me) and Equality South Dakota.

Shawn Warner (left) from the Victory Fund and Adam Bass of GLAAD came from points afar (Washington DC, and Los Angeles, respectively) to share useful information about political campaigns, effective messaging to the press, and other useful topics.

A surprise entry was from Lee Thiel, who with her family came and presented information from the Matthew Shepherd Foundation. It was great to meet them and hear about their work. The Foundation is currently pushing hard to get hate crimes legislation through the U.S. Congress, despite a misinformation campaign by opponents such as the Family Policy Council.

The steering committee of a new issues organization in South Dakota, Equality SD, presented the board of directors which will meet for the first time next week. The board includes yours truly as well as notable Mount Blogmore commentator (and Republican!) Don Frankenfeld. It was a pleasure to meet Don in person... and he had some great words to say about why Republicans and the LGBT community stand to gain by working together.

Singer/songwriter Linda Boyle was the headliner for the entertainment. She hails from Chicago and is a fabulous, inspiring musician. My spouse called her "the honorary Mom of the Pridefest," and in her Mom-like way gave me permission to buy and wear one of the "Free Range Lesbian" T-Shirts she gave to Equality SD to sell. Linda lives in the Black Hills a few months of the year with her partner. NOTE: Linda will be performing with our own Mike Reardon at the Dahl Fine Arts Center on August 9. It was a thrill to meet Linda, and even more of a thrill to hear that she and her partner follow this blog!!!! Hi Linda!

There was much fun and some silliness in the later afternoon, with a a performance by the Mirage belly-dancers, and excellent dancing in the evening (sorry, no pictures of that, it was too dark!).

A good time was had BY ALL! I hope everyone can come next year... most likely a one-day event, the third Saturday in July 2008. Mark your calendars; location to be determined...

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