Scenes from Athens Pride & Queer Collective’s first annual Pride parade held in downtown Athens, Georgia, on Sunday, June 12, 2022. (Photo/Jessica Gratigny; @jgratphoto)

On June 12, Athens Pride and Queer Collective held the first-ever Athens Pride Parade. This event celebrated Pride month, commemorating the progress of local LGBTQ communities while also acknowledging the work these communities have left to do.

Locals were asked to share their thoughts on having a local Pride event and what it means to them.

Zizi Foxx (she/her)

AV - Zizi Foxx

“Honestly, I never realized how much I needed this parade [to be local] because being in the South, in Georgia, you do sometimes feel alone. If you don’t have a family and people that you can relate to.” 

Rose Asia (any pronouns)

AV - Rose Asia

“Pride shows that love is so much stronger than hate and, no matter what, we have a community. As alone as we feel growing up, we just have to wait a little longer and we’ll find our people who are going to take care of us and love us the way that we know we need to be loved.”

Gecko (she/her)

AV - Gecko

“Having multiple cities showing support in Georgia [like Atlanta and Athens] is a good thing… [Pride means] being true to yourself and not hiding who you are.”

Cason (they/them)

AV - Cason

“I really loved the Queer community in Athens… It’s such a shift [from where] I grew up, and being somewhere that’s a little more diverse and accepting is really nice.”

Alex Andrew (he/him)

AV - Alex Andrew

“[Pride means] being unapologetically you… [Pride being so local] shows that no matter how small of a town you have, there’s still a community there for you.”

Cat Haley-Davis (she/her)

AV - Cat Haley-Davis

“[Pride allows me] to be myself after years of being in a church, being discriminated against… The community here has always been real tight-knit, always encouraging you to be yourself. It’s really helped me to come out by being in Athens.”