LI PRIDE PARADE & FESTIVAL

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the LI Gay Pride Parade and Festival, celebrating its 25th Anniversary in Huntington. In 1991, organizers were denied a parade permit by the town, because only traditional parades were allowed on the streets. The LGBT community decided to go to Court and as a result, gained the right to celebrate – fast forward 25 years and the Pride Fest is one of the largest LGBT festivals outside of NYC Gay Pride, attracting thousands of supporters and festival goers.

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 (photo credit: LI PRIDE NETWORK)

I was happy to represent Momee Friends alongside my friends and colleagues, Tiffany Rex of TC Diamond Arts, Inc and Eileen Dunn of the non-profit organization, It’s My Place.  Together, we greeted festival goers and presented our collective mission to promote awareness, acceptance and inclusion! I couldn’t think of a better platform to share our cause.  Eileen, sold items that were handmade by people with disabilities, and spoke about the gap left from care based programs and educational programs for children with special needs. “It’s My Place” hopes to fill that gap by providing a safe environment for children to learn how to interact socially appropriately.

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We even had some special visitors to our booth! Sarah Lindner and her son Aaron (AJ) stopped by to say hello, and we were able to present AJ with his award for being this month’s Shining Child of the Month. AJ suffers from a rare form of brain cancer, and in an effort to help him spread his message of awareness; we are selling t-shirts with his saying, “BE HAPPY. BE BRAVE.” 

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I was so impressed by the number of middle school and high school students that participated in the festival, and was so grateful to have the opportunity to speak with so many who were interested in volunteering with the organizations we serve.

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(photo credit: LI PRIDE NETWORK)

 

They recognized that there were people in attendance, who may not feel accepted by their immediate circles, but their message was loud and clear – you are not alone!

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Dozens of organizations and corporations also participated in the festivities. Among them was the Long Island Crisis Center, with representatives from Pride for Youth (PFY) – a non-profit, advocating for LGBT youth, ages 20 & under.

For more information, please visit http://www.longislandcrisiscenter.org/pfy/index.html

And please share the following information with anyone in need of assistance, or if you know of anyone who may be in crisis.

The Long Island Crisis Center, located at 2050 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore, NY 11710, 24/7 suicide and crisis counseling. Call (516) 679-111, chat online, or text LICC to 839863 (Standard messaging rates apply.)

INCLUSION begins with AWARENESS and ACCEPTANCE!

 

ann Written by Ann http://www.seedsoflovecenter.com

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My name is Anne and I am a local mommy blogger ... Momee Friends is all about Long Island and all things local with the focus on family

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