Tristen Gardner. Photo courtesy of Emerald City Black Pride.

Pride is a celebration of our identities and our community. It’s a time when we can come together to educate, celebrate, and not give a fuck what mainstream society says about us. Pride is a wonderful time.

What if we added another layer? What if we took the time during Pride to acknowledge and celebrate our intersectional identities. As a one whose identity sits firmly on the cross street of black and queer, I find myself looking for Pride events that can encompass all of who I am.

Enter Tristen Gardner and NW Pride of Color.

In March, Tristen Gardner and a group of individuals began work on a new and exciting way to bring POC communities together for Pride.

Tristen began NW Pride of Color for two reasons. First, he realized that there are many nonprofits in the area that serve LGBTQI POC communities, but that these groups rarely work in conjunction with each other. One of the main goals of the NW Pride of Color is to bring together different nonprofits to work with each other.

Tristen jokingly asked “Can we work together despite the drama?” This is a valid question at a time in history where supporting each other and POC is dire to our survival.

Combining efforts with organizations including House of Luna, Somos Seattle, Emerald City Black Pride, API Chaya, and Surge, NW Pride of Color’s July debut is making waves. It’s challenging us to overcome our egos and work together to lift each other up as a community, and it seems like it’s going to do a pretty damn good job of it.

Second, there are not a lot of POC in the Pacific Northwest, so there is a sense of liberation in having two weeks dedicated to our communities. NW Pride of Color will give POC the power of choice when they don’t want to choose between their identities. NW Pride of Color is aiming to overwhelm our POC with support.

As an organizer of the event, Tristen had a hard time saying which event he is most excited but he was able to highlight two for us. Among the can’t miss events on the calendar this month are The Queer Sex Ed Night on July 19 and the House of Luna x Boyhood Fashion show July 29.

Tristen and his team are creating space for POC in our queer communities. We can only hope that the NW Pride of Color will hopefully become a new staple of our Pride celebrations.

You can get more info about the NW Pride of color online at nwprideofcolor.org or on Facebook.

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