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Loud and proud

Clear your calendar: OKC Pride abounds with rainbows and celebration.

Mia Cantu May 16th, 2012

2012 OKC Pride Festivities
Thursday-Sunday, May 27

 OKC Pride and the Oklahoma Gay Rodeo Association have teamed up to bring a celebration of diversity like never before. This year, Pride Week gets extended to 11 days full of events.

“We decided that one weekend couldn’t contain it,” said OKC Pride board member Matt Harney.

The lineup starts tomorrow with a one-time screening of the film Wish Me Away, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This documentary (see Rod Lott’s review here) is about Chely Wright, among the first country singers to come out as gay. Grab dinner beforehand at S & B Burger Joint, since 10 percent of sales tomorrow will benefit OKC Pride.

Another film will be shown outdoors at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of 614 W. Sheridan. The Sons of Tennessee Williams is a documentary about the gay Mardis Gras krewes of New Orleans in the 1950s and ’60s.

The Pride Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at OKC’s Film Exchange District. The family-friendly event features live music and entertainment, food, drinks and nonprofit exhibitors.

The parade begins at 6 p.m.

Sunday, following its usual route downtown beginning at “The Strip” on N.W. 39th Street. Harney said the parade has wide appeal.

“There are people who are saying that they support our mission of diversity,” he said.

Post-parade, the celebration continues with symbols to raise awareness: wearing purple on Monday to support anti-bullying efforts; orange on Tuesday to represent the vision of possibilities; and pink on May 25 to acknowledge the movement’s origins.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at Church of the Open Arms, 3131 N. Pennsylvania, there will be light snacks and a free screening of Fish Can’t Fly, a documentary about gay men and women of religious faith.

On May 24, Angles, 2117 N.W. 39th, hosts Turning Drag on Its Wig, where the Cimarron Alliance presents the most unlikely of drag queens.

The Oklahoma Gay Rodeo Association sponsors the Great Plains Rodeo May 26-27 at the State Fairgrounds. The traditional rodeo is the association’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“This time is the biggest celebration of diversity in the state, and at the end of the day, diversity is our main focus,” said Joshua Sauer, OKC Pride vice president.

Editor’s note: For more on the changing face of OKC Pride over the past quarter-century, see our story by James Cooper here.

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