We celebrate Pride with the utmost respect and love for the LGBTQ+ community –– we are all beautiful, and we are all equal.
The month of June is known as Pride Month in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, with Pride Day celebrated on June 28th to symbolize the first pride march that was held in New York City in 1970. Various celebrations are held throughout June to unite communities with concerts, parades, parties, and other various LGBTQ+ events.
My personal experience with the LGBTQ+ community started in 2015 when I met my best friend, Ricky, in Fayetteville while attending the University of Arkansas.
Ricky and I often attended drag shows at a local club named C4, which is where a performing queen gave Ricky the inspiration to start his own drag career –– little did he know that he would eventually own his own wig business, Hella Wigs, and be booked to perform in multiple locations throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
Ricky and I have grown together over the years –– attending countless shows and Pride events where I have witnessed the patience and raw talent that goes into performing, and making so many new friends that I can’t imagine life without.
In 2017, Ricky introduced me to another Northwest Arkansas queen, Angel, whom I’ve also had the pleasure to watch and grow into the immensely talented woman she is today. Attending a show with both Ricky and Angel is one of my favorite experiences –– it fills me with so much joy to see them so happy, and seeing the reactions of the crowd cheering them on is the absolute best. The three of us have countless cherished memories together, most consisting of deep talks or just being goofy in the dressing room of a show.
I’m forever grateful for the friends and experiences the LGBTQ+ community has given me, and will always stand as an ally for Pride.
If you also want to be an ally for Pride but you’re not sure what to do or where to start, here’s my advice:
Do Your Research. The more you learn, the more you understand.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you’re not sure of someone’s pronouns, or if you make a mistake, ask what exactly you need to do differently to prevent it from happening again.
Support Your LGBTQ+ Friends. Help to amplify their voices, and just show up for them if needed – you’d be amazed at what a huge impact something so small can have!
If you’re interested in following my friends and seeing some amazing drag, I’ve provided their handles below:
Ella Rosa (Ricky): @thatsellarosa
Hella Wigz by Ella Rosa: @hellawigz
Aralee Crece (Angel): @araleeangelcrece