GSA marches in Pride event


AACC students and faculty march in Annapolis´s first Pride Parade, displaying a rainbow banner to support the LGBTQ community, with the GSA club in the head.

Mackenzie Airey, Graphics Editor

Student and faculty members of AACC’s Gay-Straight Alliance, Rainbow Network and Dance Company marched in Annapolis’ first-ever Pride Parade in June.

“It was really fun,” second-year theater student and GSA member Logan Spates said. “There was a really good turnout, especially considering that it’s Annapolis’s first Pride.”

The inaugural parade kicked off at noon, starting at Amos Garrett Boulevard and West Street and ending at Calvert and West streets. Hundreds of people lined the streets to participate.

Reading professor Forrest Caskey, one of the organizers for AACC’s participation in the event, called the parade “a long time coming. I think it makes people feel welcome.”

The parade took place the day after the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, marked as the start of the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the U.S.

Members of the GSA club led the group, holding a painted rainbow banner spelling out “AACC GSA” in bold sparkly letters.
Behind them followed members of AACC’s Dance Company and of the college’s Rainbow Network—a community of administrators, faculty and staff who actively advocate for LGBTQ equity on campus and complete diversity training.

“If someone’s thinking of going to AACC,” Spates said, “it’s like, ‘OK, here are the students you could meet and be accepted by, and here’s a whole group of teachers who are so committed to understanding and accepting you that they went through extra training for it.’”

Other marchers agreed. “I definitely thought that it was a very positive thing, especially for the younger goers because they’ll be able to see people that are a bit closer to their age,” second-year psychology student and GSA officer Jack Amann said. “And the fact that … this school has these connections, so that way they don’t feel alone or feel that they have to hide themselves while at the school.”

Parade-goers lining the streets met the marchers with cheers along their route.

“People from AACC were shouting at us and saying that they were super, super happy when they saw us there,” second-year elementary education student and GSA officer Chrystal Jones said.

The next Annapolis Pride Parade & Festival is scheduled for June 27, 2020.