Lehigh Valley shows its Pride
A blazing sun made attendees at the Aug. 18 Lehigh Valley Pride event appreciate any shady spot they could find. But the heat didn’t melt the enthusiasm of the attendees who paraded, dressed in their campiest pride finery, or who just came to show support for the LGBT community and just to have fun.
Politicians and government officials came to show their support and their faces at the event held in Allentown at the Jewish Community Center on Tilghman Street. The Lehigh Valley Pride event was a program of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
“Lehigh County is one of the best places to live because of diversity,” said County Executive Phillips Armstrong ,speaking to a sparse audience seated on unshaded folding chairs.
“We are proud that our tourism grants help support this [festival],” said Armstrong.
Pa. State Physician General Dr. Rachel Levin urged lawmakers to pass non-discriminatory laws.
“Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast that does not have comprehensive non-discriminatory laws,” said Levin, herself a transgender person. She is the highest-ranking transgender person in Pennsylvania’s state government.
“Pride is about living openly, letting people know that we are here and that we are queer,” said Corinne Goodwin of Lehigh Valley Renaissance, which is a program of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
“We are going to resist those who would take away our rights and restrict our freedoms,” said Goodwin.
Miranda Alvarez, a bilingual Cedar Crest College graduate, Michael Drabenstott, an avid hiker and bicyclist, and Elissa Garofalo, the executive director of the D & L National Heritage Corridor, were at the Pride festival with their kiosk promoting the D & L Trail. The 165-mile biking and walking path network leads to many historic points in the Lehigh Valley between Lehigh Gap and Easton.
Among the many commercial interests represented was Tara Zrinski, who had a kiosk promoting her company, Sun Pulse Solar. Zrinski is also a Northampton County supervisor.
Rachel Zane and Joy Scott of Fogelsville were at the Pride festival promoting the Am Hakalah reconstructionist congregation, located on Macada Road, Bethlehem.