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Kink Welcome at Eugene PRIDE

A Statement from the Board of Directors of Eugene Pride:

We would like to express our profound gratitude to our community, volunteers, vendors, and sponsors for supporting the 2021 Eugene Pride Festival in Alton Baker Park. Despite the challenges of having a shorter window to produce the festival and the need for COVID-19 safety protocols, the festival was a HUGE success. Thank you for an amazing day! We heard positive feedback about the expanded park layout, our efforts to make the festival more accessible for people with disabilities, as well as on our new signature shade structure. The Eugene Pride team is 100% volunteer, and we are pleased to announce that we will be able to award $10,000 in scholarships to LGBTQIA+ youth – the highest amount we’ve ever raised!

We would also like to take this opportunity to own our mistakes and apologize to those we may have made to feel excluded from this year’s festival – especially our local queer kink community. In our rush to get the festival off the ground, we made explicit a “no gear/paraphernalia” rule that was originally intended to keep folks safe after specific incidents in years’ past. Instead, making this rule explicit (along with some inartful Facebook posts) had the effect of marginalizing parts of our community. Our sincerest and deepest apologies – we will do better. Pride is for EVERYONE in our large and diverse community, and we celebrate ALL of the many individuals and communities that make up the LGBTQIA+ rainbow. Please know we will be reworking our rules, and we invite you to contribute as we create new guidelines that keep us safe in a way that is inclusive to the whole of our community.

To that end, we will be holding a community listening session on October 24th at 2pm on Zoom. Please sign up for our newsletter or reach out to us for the meeting link. This is your opportunity to provide feedback to the board of directors and to contribute to make next year’s Pride Festival better than ever. We will start regular planning meetings in January, and we need your support. Eugene Pride has grown significantly in the last five years, and it takes a huge amount of time and energy to produce the festival. Please join us in creating next year’s festival, and thank you for your contributions!

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