On Saturday, June 15, 2019 over 100,000 people are expected to participate in the RI PrideFest and Illuminated Night Parade with the bold theme Live Your Truth.
Rhode Island Pride invites you and your family (whether traditional or non-traditional) to reject the societal expectations imposed on you and to come out and Live Your Truth, with pride. Despite our progress over the years, society still assumes that everyone, from the moment of birth, is binary, cis, and straight. You’re expected to wear certain things, love certain people, and to accept being referred to with certain pronouns. You’re expected and assumed to be, someone other than who you truly are.
The Live Your Truth theme for 2019 reflects what’s at the heart of Pride: an opportunity to be exactly who you are, out in the open. The Live Your Truth theme simultaneously celebrates the numerous different genders, skin colors, sexual orientations, ages, races, religions, physical and mental abilities, national origins, and ethnicities (among many other factors) that make each of us who we are. We’ll even live our truths by parading down the street and showcasing the beautiful range of diverse individual identities among us within the LGBTQIA+ community!
This year's PrideFest will be on Saturday, June 15, 2019, with a festival along South Water Street in Providence, followed at dusk by the Annual Illuminated Night Time Pride Parade.
“As Providence continues to grow as the creative capital, we are excited to welcome thousands of visitors who will be living their truth to the city to celebrate the diversity of our LGBTQIA+ community and experience all the amazing events and programs during RI Pride,” said Joe Lazzerini, President of Rhode Island Pride. “As part of our theme this year, we are not only here to live our truths, but we are also here to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.”
The Annual PrideFest is located on South Water Street and will start at 12:00 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m. The PrideFest will feature a mix of live entertainment on our main stage, a business marketplace with over 200 plus vendors, Hasbro Kid’s Zone, food trucks, arts, Youth Center, and a beer, wine and spirits garden. A rally and speaking program will take place at 3:00 pm commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall from our main stage and will feature local community leaders. Entry is through the South Entrance by Wickenden Street and a North Entrance at the start of Memorial Blvd and South Water Street.
The main stage will be hosted by local celebrity Lulu Locks, comedian John Kelley, as well as local drag performers Annie B. Frank, Kira Stone, and Complete Destruction. The stage will feature New England based gay dance party guru DJ Ephraim Adamz. Our mainstage will feature headlining acts Alaska 5000 and Adore Delano from RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 2 and featuring Monique Heart and Jasmine Masters from RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 4 alongside popular drag king Spikey Van Dykey. From New York City, Brian Faltudo, best known from his role in School of Rock will grace the stage performing songs off of his new album. Local high energy dance rock acts Jodi Jolt and The Volt and the Mary Day Band will also appear on the main stage along with countless other acts representing various genres and local performers!
RI Pride Illuminated Night Parade
New England’s only night pride parade kicks off at 8:30 pm and is one of the highlights to the celebration with a dazzling display of floats, performing artists, marching groups, businesses and spectators that wind through downtown Providence and culminate at the main RI Pride reviewing area under the historic marquee of the Providence Performing Arts Center. The parade begins on Dorrance Street and continues down Washington Street, then Empire street and ends on Weybosset Street. A new accessible viewing area will be set up at the corner of Empire and Weybosset street for anyone with wheelchairs or would like a place to sit. The energy in the city is electric and we send an open invitation to everyone to participate in the weekend events that transform the City of Providence into a vibrantly visible LGBTQ city.
The 2019 Marshals of the RI Pride Illuminated Night Parade
Rhode Island Pride is PROUD to announce the Grand Marshal and Honorary Marshals of the Annual Illuminated Night Time Parade. This year's selection of Grand Marshal and Honorary Marshals, represents what it means to Live Your Truth. Rhode Island Pride is proud to announce its Grand Marshals that will lead this year’s Parade event: Justice Ameer Gaines and the Providence Student Union along with Honorary Marshals, the late Chris Harris and Belle Pellegrino.
JUSTICE AMEER GAINES is a well-known community organizer, activist, and accomplished poet who self-identifies as a Black trans woman and as genderfluid. She currently serves as the Queer Justice Coordinator for Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM). Justice is particularly well known for the key role she played in the passage of the Providence Community Police Relations Act of 2017 (a.k.a. the Community Safety Act) which, among many other things, guarantees trans individuals the right to be searched by a police officer of their chosen gender identity.
Justice − who treats her very name as a serious call to action − believes in a holistic approach to social justice. “We can’t work on housing unless folks have jobs to afford rent,” she explained, “and we cannot work on employment without also ensuring folks have healthcare so they can stay employed.”
PROVIDENCE STUDENT UNION is a non-profit group of high school student chapters that work to raise up student voices and give young people the chance to shape their schools and futures. Founded in 2010, the group’s proposed Student Bill of Rights − among its highest-profile current campaigns − seeks to ensure, among many other things, that students are afforded freedom of expression, including “the right to express their identity, including their gender identity, and have it be respected and not policed.”
“We are proud to have such accomplished and impressive Grand Marshals leading our Parade and helping us tell our story this year,” said Joe Lazzerini, President of Rhode Island Pride. “These are folks who truly embody our theme for this year: ‘Live Your Truth.’”
Honorary Parade Marshals
Lovingly known as the “King of Clubs”, Chris was an award-winning event producer, premier concert promoter, accomplished business owner and community organizer. He was the co-owner of Club EGO in Providence and provided some of the best LGBTQIA+ nightlife experiences that captivated audiences and forever changed the industry. Chris was also a pivotal leader in the LGBTQIA+ community, an advocate of equality, and proud to have created safe environments where people could come together to celebrate who they are. He leaves a substantial legacy being celebrated across the country and established The Chris Harris Tribute Fund to establish an LGBTQ cancer prevention and education program in Rhode Island and beyond at ChrisHarrisTribute.org.
Belle was a fierce champion for everything she believed in. In 1976, she helped lead the charge for the first Pride Parade to take place in Providence as part of the original 76ers. When the City denied the permits, she fought back -- in court -- and won. Belle spent her life reminding everyone that giving back to your community wasn't just the right thing to do, but also the moral thing to do. She was involved with many community organizations, volunteered as an EMT, served as a pastor and Emperor 16 and 24 of the Imperial Court of Rhode Island.
About Rhode Island Pride
Rhode Island Pride is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization comprised of individuals with a sincere interest in recognizing, promoting and celebrating the diversity and successes of the LGBTQ community in RI and Southern New England. By creating opportunities for integrating and promoting visibility for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, RI Pride promotes equal rights and diversity through public education and the arts. The year-round programs and services of RI Pride provide safe opportunities and venues for people to come out and express and celebrate their sexual identities. Established 1976