QTPOC-Focused Fest Brings Together the Colors of Pride

Local orgs come together to do some community building

Despite the LGBTQIA rainbow flag’s multicolored nature, many Pride events are unfortunately monochromatic in their representation. So when Austin Queer Asians, Austin Latinx Pride, and QWELL Community Foundation decided to put together an event, they wanted to uplift all of Pride’s shades.

Illustration by Marcos Chin

The Colors of Pride Gathering, a festival with a focus on building community among the many queer and trans people of color within Austin, will take place on Saturday, June 25, at Branch Park Pavillion. The Google-sponsored event will feature inspirational speakers, a Frida Friday market, outdoor games, mocktails from Sans Bar and cocktails from Cheer Up Charlies, plus performances from ATX icons like DJ Chorizo Funk, Theo Love, and Mama Duke. Families and kiddos can also enjoy an outdoor play area courtesy of ChrysalisQ and the Thinkery.

Software engineer and member of the event’s steering committee Anna Nguyen says that while there are Pride-related events specific to each POC community, few actually unite those circles into one QTPOC Venn diagram. Superficial differences do exist between these queer communities of color, and they all deal with many challenges specific to being LGBTQIA, but ultimately Anna says Colors of Pride is about gathering, celebrating, and focusing on what commonalities these groups share. “I think that’s an important thing,” she adds, “because rather than celebrating each community separately, [we’re saying] let’s have everybody together because we, as they say, pretty much are in the same boat.”

Anna Nguyen and Quỳnh-Hương Nguyễn (Courtesy of QWELL Community Foundation)

Co-founder of Austin Queer Asians and fellow steering committee member Quỳnh-Hương Nguyễn mentions that another motivation behind the event was to provide a less commercialized and less white-centric place QTPOC folks could enjoy. Having community leaders gather, even while spread thin with Pride and other organizing activities, presents an opportunity to make new connections, see new people, and “develop more coalitions for the future as well.” Quỳnh-Hương also points out how imperative events like this are for the newer generations in order to find community representation often forgone in media and in many ATX queer spaces. “It’s important for our young folks and new transplants coming in to Austin to also be able to connect together,” she says, “and know that Pride isn’t just for white gays, but also for folks of color.”

While the prospect of meeting so many different people can be daunting, Anna says that mingling with other communities who all look different is what the event seeks to enable. She admits that, personally, putting herself out there in unfamiliar situations can be uncomfortable, but that being more vulnerable and talking with folks different from ourselves is a proactive step toward community building. “I would encourage people to remember that this is the Colors of Pride Festival,” she says, “and it is for everybody of a nonwhite ethnicity … I think there is – generally, not just for this festival – a lot to be gained from putting ourselves out there into unusual and slightly uncomfortable situations to discover new people, new customs, new cultures, new friends.”

The Colors of Pride Festival is on Saturday, June 25, from noon to 6pm inside the air-conditioned Branch Park Pavilion within the Mueller District. Admission is all-ages and free. Find out more about the event at colorsofpride.org.

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LGBTQ, Pride Events, Colors of Pride Gathering, Quỳnh-Hương Nguyen, Anna Nguyen, QTPOC Pride

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