The Stonewall you know is a myth. And that’s O.K.
Third Street Park turned into a rainbow of colors displayed on flags, shirts, umbrellas and scarves during Downtown Macon Pride on Saturday.
The event was part of Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBTQ community and the city’s first in nearly 20 years.
Participants didn’t seem daunted by a sudden but brief thundershower in the middle of the event.
What does Downtown Macon Pride mean to participants and why is it important to them to have such events? We asked a few to find out.
Billie Bilbrey of Macon
“I’ve been to the Atlanta Pride many times with friends of mine, so I just want everybody to know Macon is as open and accepting as other cities are.
“Diversity is the key to growth, and I think that we need to all be accepted for who we are and what we are.”
Jane Darby of Lizelle
“After a 20-year hiatus, it’s very refreshing to see all these young faces out. The rest of us — the older ones — are kind of tired and our rainbow flags are kind of worn. So it’s really refreshing to see all these young, energetic people out celebrating Pride.
“To show others that we’re not that much different. I know that this may come across to the general public as rather flamboyant. I know that. I understand that. But we’re not all flamboyant. Most of us are just regular Joes, you know.
“The last time we had such an event was 20 years ago, like I said, my wife and I were not even able to marry at that time. We have since legalized marriage in Georgia and across the United States.
“We had been together only a couple of years at the point, but I honestly think that if you love someone, you love someone whether it’s a man a woman or whatever. We’re not so different than anyone else. We have mortgages. We pay taxes. We teach in schools. We’re policeman and firemen. We do just about everything. We run the gambit.”
Joshua Arrington of Wrens
“It’s just a good place to be able to express yourself and be who are you — especially for the younger generations who didn’t grow up the way a lot of us did with having to hide who were growing up.
“I think it’s important for the young generations to know it’s OK to be who you are.”
Robert Fuller of Macon
“Macon needs more events and to show that I’m from Macon and I’m proud of Macon, so that’s why I’m down here and to show my support.
“Such events bring the community together … We need events like this so we can get to know each other.”