AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Coverage you can count on begins with the largest dance party in the Garden City.
Along with the dancing at ‘Beats on Broad’ the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Ally community is also celebrating a huge victory that they gained from the U.S. Supreme Court, just shy of a year ago.
“Love is love and love still wins,” said Rev. Rick Sosbe, Senior Pastor of Church of Our Redeemer – Metropolitan Community Church.
Just like people open their minds to different types of music, supporters of Augusta’s L.G.B.T.Q.A. community has opened their hearts to loving and accepting all lifestyles. Despite the recent tragedy ‘Beats on Broad’ was a night of celebration.
“It’s been encouraging in some ways, to see that some people that we would not have expected are angry and outraged over what happened in Orlando.” Sosbe told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
While many people enjoyed the live music, some local organizations took the event as an opportunity to reach new individuals that could benefit from their services.
“They are a vulnerable population.” Leah Kim, volunteer of the Equality Clinic of Augusta, said.
“Oh I’m trying to target everybody. I’m here every year, because H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. has no boundaries,” said Maria Fickling, Founder Michelle’s Kids.
Equality in the Peach State is the idea behind the Equality Clinic of Augusta, who aimed to attract new patients at the festival. “We are also very competent for the L.G.B.T.Q A. community as well. So we are using proper pronouns and sort of respecting their individuality.” Kim told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
As the Augusta Commons filled up with people, some left their mark by signing the 2016 Augusta Pride Festival banner. A symbol of unity for this community.
“Getting together and celebrating their identity and who they are as a person.” Jiby Yohannan, volunteer of the Equality Clinic of Augusta, said.
Fighting stigmas and spreading love is how Pride Festival goers plan to also celebrate the historic day, just shy of a year ago, when same-sex marriage became recognized in the United States.
“Last year it was love wins and I think this year the under riding theme is love still wins,” said Sosbe.
The celebration continues Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. with a parade followed by live performances all day long.