My Town’s Pride Festival

Findlay Pride 2019

It was a week or so back when I was told of my town’s gay pride fest – in the previous years I have always attended another city’s pride festival but this year would be my first time attending my own towns. It actually shocked me that my town would host such a thing — with it being super conservative, old school, political and rich for the most part & this usually meant anything that wasn’t of the social norm would be looked down upon. This year I had no one to attend it with due to friends being busy, so I decided to attend on my own. The fest started with a yoga class outside (which I missed out on due to being busy at the gym) but I arrived at the pride picnic that was at a nearby park (it had prizes, drag shows, free food, bingo/games/ kid friendly & pet friendly atmosphere) everything seemed well set up and there were more than enough people who attended — which made me smile right away to see the support from our community in both young and older adults. 

For me, I was new to attending a festival on my own, so I started off just wandering about and then decided I would play some bingo; in hopes I might meet some people and make some new friends. Well I was ever so lucky because during bingo, I met a high school student who was transgender (male to female) and even met an individual who wasn’t gay but was at the fest to support the community and both were very nice people– I even met a passer by who ended up playing bingo with us (little did I know, he was friends with the male heterosexual I was speaking with) & that made things just splendid because it made life easier walking with someone to chat with. The festival was only 4 hours long, and a hour or so was dedicated to the outside drag show– love watching beautiful men dress up and do their thing, the music and performances were fun and kid friendly and just amazing to be apart of. I watched smaller kids hand money to the drags and give hugs and kisses and just smile & parents who also did the same — it was beautiful to watch & all in all the picnic ended on a good note because there wasn’t any protest or violent acts done. 

The last portion was a gay pride after party hosted at the Hilton hotel later that evening — I ended up exchanging phone numbers with one of the individuals at the park and we met up at the hotel. It was pretty inside and tons of people shown up, again free food and you could purchase alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages at the bar, there were more drag shows, dancing to music, meet people, etc. I was just excited to see so many people in one room and enjoying themselves and having everyone come together full of love. I have to say, it was my favorite part because I let loose and just put everything else on hold to have fun and to chat with new faces and laugh – so happy I went out of my comfort level and it worked out for the best. 

Thank you Findlay for hosting a gay pride event , and for the encouragement from our community and the amazing performances we funded — as well as the food and drinks. Thank you Hilton hotel for being kind enough to allow us to use your venue and have a grand time within your hotel and serving us food and refreshments. 

Today, I leave for Columbus pride for the 7th year in a row, and again this will be another adventure I do on my own, which is scary but I am very excited about because I need to learn to venture out on my own an do things without relying on others in order to do them. I want to move to Columbus and when I move, I will have to be on my own for a while before I meet people — so this is going to be neat and something totally out of my comfort level but I hope it turns out for the best and it gives me a chance to build on my self confidence, meet people and enjoy myself. I will take plenty of pictures — so follow me on IG for updates!

Shay-lon Moss

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