Hav­ing fun and hon­or­ing the trail­blaz­ers

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

time­line of At­lanta Pride his­tory and more.

But for many, it was just nice hav­ing a cool­ing off area to get away from the crowds.

“We were told by sev­eral peo­ple from sev­eral of the groups that I worked with that what a lot of what the older adults would like is just a place to sit down that’s not in a fold­ing chair, that’s not in the mid­dle of the park,” Thomas says.

They’ll be bring­ing back the At­lanta Pride time­line this year, along with snacks, a meet-up space for LGBT se­nior groups, a DJ and prize give­aways. Plus, this year AARP’s na­tional of­fice is send­ing a team in to do a photo booth pop-up to give peo­ple some- thing to re­mem­ber the week­end by.

For Thomas, who says this is the big­gest project AARP Ge­or­gia has done for the state’s LGBT com­mu­nity, Gray Pride is not only about pro­vid­ing a safe (and fun) space but hon­or­ing those who laid the foun­da­tion for where we are.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for us to re­al­ize that with­out the sac­ri­fices and con­tri­bu­tions of the older adults who were there at the be­gin­ning, who were there and can re­mem­ber Stonewall, or who lost friends dur­ing the AIDS cri­sis dur­ing the ’ 80s…when you think about the sac­ri­fices and the lives that these peo­ple have lived, I think that we should have some way of hon­or­ing them at ev­ery cel­e­bra­tion and hav­ing a spe­cial place for them.

“And it’s a way of let­ting the younger gen­er­a­tion have a time to talk or meet with or see a lot of peo­ple that they may or may not see in their reg­u­lar in­ter­ac­tions, be­cause these are the peo­ple who made it pos­si­ble for ev­ery­body to be out and be in with main­stream so­ci­ety as op­posed to hav­ing to feel shel­tered or be in a seg­mented part of so­ci­ety.”

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