State College Pride offers space for celebration, acceptance – The Daily Collegian Online

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The Pride Parade finishes in downtown State College, Pa on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
Parade participants decorate their cars to make them stand out during the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in State College, Pa. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
Participants show off their colors during the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in State College, Pa. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
Family and friends come together to participate in the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in State College, Pa. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
The Pride Parade finishes in downtown State College, Pa on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
On Saturday, hundreds of people came out in celebration of Pride in State College for the second year in the borough’s history.
There were several Pride events throughout the day, including a party, a parade and a festival.
From 1-3 p.m., A’s Pub in McLanahan’s Downtown Market hosted a “Pre-Pride Parade Party,” featuring multiple varieties of beer and hard cider, benefiting the Centre LGBTQA Support Network.
Parade participants decorate their cars to make them stand out during the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in State College, Pa. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
Jennifer Wawrzyniak, regional sales manager for Blake’s Hard Cider, handed out rainbow colored stickers at the event along with samples of different hard ciders, including “the Rainbow Seeker.”
Those who tried Blake’s Hard Cider could roll two oversized dice for the chance to win a prizes.
Player Mackenzie Mangette said she felt “super safe expressing [her] identity” in State College because “it’s a safe place” with “rainbow flags everywhere.”
“I’ve been here for one semester, and I haven’t really met that community yet,” Mangette (graduate-aerospace engineering) said. “I’m hoping this is my foot in the door to get into the community now that I’m more confident in myself and my identity.”
Participants show off their colors during the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in State College, Pa. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
Another player, who wished to not be identified, said State College has a “strong community aspect,” making Pride a “great way” to meet “like-minded people” and “expand supporters.”
At 3 p.m., a parade of decorated cars, bicycles, skaters and walkers began at State College Area High School on Westerly Parkway and ended at the Sidney Friedman Parklet on South Fraser Street.
Along the route were several decorated vendor booths offering free rainbow-colored items.
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Pride goers could purchase rainbow cards for $10 at some stores and businesses, which provided deals and discounts for participating vendors, such as Lions Pride or The Makery.
Attendee Corie Kiebler said “it’s really important to support the community and be an ally.”
“I feel very passionately about trans lives [which] were taken very early,” Kiebler (graduate-public policy) said. “So, I’m here to support people who have lost their lives due to trans[gender] violence and LGBTQIA violence.”
Recent Penn State alumna and State College resident Rebecca Haist said she came to the Pride parade for “community support” because it’s “so powerful” when “everyone is together.”
Family and friends come together to participate in the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in State College, Pa. Centre LGBTQA Support Network, The State College Borough, 3 Dots and the Downtown State College Improvement District came together to hold a pride parade for pride month.
Another parade-goer, Zoe Weatherington, said she was “glad” to be at the parade and “represent as an ally.”
“I love being there for people who need help,” Weatherington (senior-sociology) said. “So, it’s nice to see that people are proud of their identity, and I just want to be here to sit beside them.”
Cydney Brown agreed and said she “wants everyone to feel included and welcomed.”
Brown (senior-biobehavioral health) said she thinks Pride is a “great way for people to know that the community supports them.”
Following the parade was a festival at the Sidney Friedman Parklet. The festival included music performances by Joy Marie and the Gill Street Band and a magic show by magician Timothy Cook.
Shubham Mirg, a State College resident, said this was his second time attending State College Pride.
“The festival is my favorite event,” Mirg said.
State College resident Keith Baptiste said his favorite part of Pride was “just being able to be [himself],” which includes being “queer in a space where everybody is comfortable, and I feel accepted.”
Dwayne Hamilton, a State College resident, said he enjoyed “being here in space and community and just celebrating all of our identities, whether they’re sexual or gender or even race.”
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Aara’L is a news reporter, photojournalist and videographer for The Daily Collegian. She is a 5th year PhD student majoring in meteorology and atmospheric science.
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