WHYY News and the N.I.C.E team hosted Pride: No Prejudice – A BIPOC Pride Month Celebration, in Camden to give queer BIPOC artists within Philadelphia and South Jersey a platform to perform.
Artists performed poetry, music, and choreographed dance numbers, including Tahtianna Fermin and Paulie Boranian, who both work with Bridges4Life.
Both agreed on the positive impacts of providing LGBTQ+ people with safe spaces to perform. Boranian said a lack of these spaces often leads to queer people leaving their homes for larger cities that they feel might be more accepting of them and their art.
“You’re able to find places easier than if you were to go into the towns outside of those main areas,” Boranian said. “I think it’s extremely important to have something like this in Camden, in towns like Camden, that are outside of that kind of cultural [center]… because people will leave Camden to go to those places.”
“We’re going to stand in our truth and we’re going to have this place open. This place is open and it’s a safe haven for the LGBT community,” Fermin said. “So this is important and more places need to open up and invite the LGBTQ community in.”
The event also lent a platform to regional voices on how they’d like to see issues related to LGBTQ+ rights and protections discussed in the news media.
DeAnn Cox, organizer and founder of Jersey Gay Pride, said the media needs to inform the public about LGBTQ+ issues, and dispel misinformation about the community.
“We want to have people nurturing our youth and not saying you don’t know what you are yet and your parents are crazy,” Cox said. “So just more information, so maybe we can just get to the acceptance level and then at some point get to the nurturing level, and I just feel like we’re not too far from that right now.”
The event was supported by The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund.
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