Although popular media hasn't exactly caught on yet, there is more than one face to America's queer population.
In Austin, we're a little more hip to in-group diversity, and that's why we've now got two very distinct city holidays that both celebrate our city's LGBTQIA population and honor the struggles of prominent queer figures in America's history. Both events aim to increase visibility and acceptance in the community but take radically different measures to do that.
In late September, the Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation holds the Rainbow Run 5K, the PRIDE Parade and the PRIDE Festival at Fiesta Gardens. This family-friendly series of events fits the familiar idea of PRIDE throughout the country, inviting everyone to celebrate the all-inclusive joy that comes with embracing diversity.
Meanwhile, the first Saturday in June (the same weekend as the 1969 Stonewall riots) is dedicated to Queerbomb in Austin. This rapidly growing rally and parade sprang up when a few passionate queer organizers devised their own alternative event that was 100 percent free and celebrated the more transgressive roots of their queer predecessors. What was expected to attract maybe 300 folks scared up about five times that and continues to grow each year.
Both groups now share a mutual understanding of what the other provides for the community, and that means Austinites have the privilege of choosing to celebrate one or both of these perfectly enjoyable weekends depending on their politics and availability.
In line with keeping Queerbomb entirely accessible and free for all to attend, the organization has kicked off a community fundraising campaign to offset costs. With the monumental growth they have experienced over the past few years, the party is getting bigger and louder and sweatier and even more amazing. But growing the party also means renting more space to dance, more equipment to accommodate and more Port-a-Potties to... use.
With a transparent breakdown of exactly what costs will go where, you can measure where the Queerbomb Indiegogo campaign is at in reaching their necessary goal of $5K. (As of Tuesday, they're a little over halfway there, with only 10 more days to go.)
You can help guarantee that Austin keeps its options and its minds open by donating to the best party of the year, ensuring that it gets off to a safe, worry-free, all-inclusive start.
Otherwise, we might have some sad drag queens on our hands. And nobody wants to see a sad drag queen, do they?