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LGBTQ Pride events to be held in Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh

Adirondack North Country Pride returns to Plattsburgh on Oct. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. in Trinity Park.

This is the fourth annual pride event celebrating diversity, inclusion and respect for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical capability or any other inherent identity.

Participating in LGBTQI+ pride allows us to come together to build community with others who share our common beliefs that human sexuality and gender identity exist on a fluid continuum of possibilities rather than on only two fixed standard points of self-identification.

Pride celebrations are a way to honor those who came before us, who fought for the right to express their love toward another person on their own terms and not what society dictates as being acceptable or “proper.” It allows us to show our young people that they are perfect just as they are.

LGBTQ pride began one year after the historic Stonewall riots of June 28, 1969, of which we commemorate the 50th anniversary this year. The multi-day riots that occurred at the Stonewall Inn, as a result of a police raid of the local LGBTQ safe haven, sparked the beginning of the current LGBTQ movement in the United States. Many municipalities host “pride parades” across the country and across the world, where LGBTQI+ community members outwardly profess their ability to live freely and openly as their true authentic self.

Here in the Adirondacks we hold our pride event toward the end of September or early October as an opening for LGBTQ History awareness month. This is a time to acknowledge the many accomplishments of LGBTQI+ members, both past and present, as well as the strides in our current social/political arenas.

We also welcome the return of all area college and university students as we strive to make this region a better place for them to grown, live, work and be a vital part of our community.

This family-friendly event is a time set apart to celebrate lesbian, gay, bi/pansexual, transgender, gender queer/non-binary and intersex people. We welcome the diversity of all people here in our area. It is a time to come out and celebrate what makes each of us special and unique.

This year we are proud to have new co-sponsors and supporters to this year’s event, including Planned Parenthood of the North Country, Irises Cafe and Wine Bar, and as a special guest, Elmore SPCA will host a dog pet adoption program.

Adding to events during Pride Week is the showing of the video “Forb{i}dden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America.” When Moises Serrano was just a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico and make the journey across the desert in search of the American dream. Moises is like the thousands of young people growing up in the U.S. with steadfast dreams but facing overwhelming obstacles.

This amazing video will be presented at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake on Monday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. and again in Yokum Hall at SUNY Plattsburgh on Tuesday Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Suggested donation is $10 for adult community members — students admitted free. A Q&A with Moises Serrano will follow the film. This is being presented by presented by Adirondack Voters for Change and Plattsburgh JCEO, SUNY Plattsburgh Gender and Women’s Studies, Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance and many other local community organizations.

Other pride week activities include an open mic event at Koffee Kat Espresso Bar on Margaret Street, Plattsburgh, on Sunday, Sept. 29 from 3 to 6 p.m. This event is hosted by Shawn Reid and Jennifer Tallon.

Let us be Adirondack proud and North Country strong as we show our combined strength in ending bullying, harassment, hate, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

We welcome everyone in the Adirondack North Country community to come celebrate diversity, inclusion, acceptance and understanding of the differences of what makes each of us the special, unique and the wonderful people we are.

Kelly Metzgar lives in Saranac Lake and is executive director of the Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance.

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