Following is a brief interview with Amy Usiak of Evergreen Health, regarding the 2018 Pride Week, which wrapped up yesterday. Photos by Glenn Murray.
How was this year’s Pride Week compared to previous years?
Many of our events grew in size and reach this year. We added Out for Business as a new Pride Week event and also moved the Gay 5K location to Larkin Square. More and more organizations are coordinating their own Pride Week events and that’s what it’s really all about. We love to see so much involvement by so many different organizations, which make Pride Week more and more visible.
How was the attendance, spirit, and community engagement?
Out for Business, which is a year-round program offered by the Pride Center of Western New York, experienced the most attendance so far at its event on May 31 at the Curtiss Hotel. The special Pride Week edition of Out for Business featured live music from DJ Ben Hirsh and is a professional networking event for LGBTQ people. The next Out for Business event is on June 20 at Colter Bay. For more information, visit www.pridecenterwny.org.
As I mentioned, community engagement seems to be growing each year. During the parade you’ll see many businesses along Elmwood demonstrating their Pride by decorating their storefronts and this spirit is spreading to more areas and organizations.
Can you give me a takeaway from Evergreen Health?
We want to make people aware of the array of services we offer year-round and to reinforce that we are an affirming provider.
How was the 5K?
This year the Gay 5K took place at a new location, Larkin Square. We saw our biggest participation ever and participants loved the new venue. We were pleased to partner with Larkin and be a part of the first ever Larkin Moves, which was an all-day urban wellness festival.
What would you like to see happen in 2019?
We would like to keep up the momentum of community involvement and collaboration as more and more businesses show their support of an inclusive, affirming and safe community for all people.
What are the goals of the parade and festival?
The Pride Parade and Festival is a time of celebration for LGBTQ people and their allies. Pride can mean many different things to many different people and these events offer a canvas for everyone to express what Pride means to them. It’s a time set aside each year for our community to come together as we continue to create a safe and healthy place where all LGBTQ people can live, work and raise their families.
While Pride Week is a great celebration, it’s important for everyone to know that the Pride Center of Western New York is here year round for all LGBTQ people and offers an array of programming to help improve the health and wellness of LGBTQ people and their allies and caregivers.