Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Pride celebration advocates for LGBTQ+ youth

Local musicians performed at The Broadside for the third annual PRIDE Night, hosted by musician Mia Borders, a former Loyola professor and alumna, and presented by Third Coast Entertainment.

The event partnered with Trans Queer Youth NOLA, a youth-led organization that provides inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ people ages 12-24. The organization provides experiences, resources, and education to LGBTQ+ youth. They meet at least monthly, taking suggestions for group activities and providing transportation and food.

“I mean, it’s all about representation,” Borders said. “I remember being a young queer person and not fully understanding myself and not having any resources available to me to help me figure myself out, so I appreciate what TQY NOLA does, and any visibility that we can shine is good.”

When TQY NOLA formed in 2016, there were no high school Gender-Sexualities Alliance clubs in New Orleans.

“We do live in the south, the convervative south. When talking about [GSAs] to the school organizations, they weren’t really open to the idea, and they weren’t welcoming it into their schools,” Ka’Sha Fenceroy, 20, said, who has volunteered with TransQueer Youth Nola since they were 15.

Although some high schools in Uptown have started GSAs, Fenceroy says there are still many obstacles for youth in the city.

“Recently, since Jeff Landry has been in office, he’s been passing a lot of bills targeting trans and queer youth specifically, so it’s really hard for those entities to exist in the school space now,” Fenceroy said. “I consider [New Orleans] a sanctuary city for a lot of queer and trans folks. You would think that they’d be more open to having those safe spaces, but nah, especially with what’s happening in politics.”

At PRIDE, community initiatives and local business offered handmade goods, glitter makeovers, and guides to voter registration.

Volunteers with Headcount’s Vote with Pride initiative shared voter resources at the event. The organization helps people register to vote, confirm their voter status, and contact state legislators.

“We’re trying to catch people to make sure they’re up-to-date on their voter registration,” volunteer Brenda Eames said. “About one in ten people are pride, and there have been so many things going on with voting that’s making it more difficult for people to vote.”

Some transgender people struggle to register to vote with their chosen name and gender identity, Eames said. Vote with Pride helps these people get IDs that match this information. Eames said other obstacles to voting may include limited access to transportation, closure of polling sites, further distances to polls, and voter registration updates after moving.

“With Headcount, we primarily register voters at concerts, music festivals, pride events, community events, colleges, and universities,” Eames said. “We’re trying to reach those young people who move a lot or maybe didn’t think about the fact that they need to register to vote.”

In between songs, local jazz singer John Boutté urged the audience to get involved in local politics through voting.

“You need to go to the local elections,” Boutté said. “We need to change the state legislators in this state. These are all David Duke followers, man. They all believe in replacement theory. Well guess what? You will be replaced – by me!”

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About the Contributor
Sophia Maxim
Sophia Maxim, Editor in Chief
Sophia Maxim is a multimedia journalist and designer from Atlanta, GA. She is The Maroon’s incoming Editor in Chief and previously served as Managing Editor for Print and Design Chief. She is a visual communication junior with a design minor. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, listening to podcasts, and collaborating on creative projects. Sophia can be reached at [email protected].

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