Gulf Coast Association of Pride hosts annual pride event in Biloxi

Published: Jun. 26, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - People were dressed in their rainbow attire as they gathered at the Point Cadet Plaza in Biloxi Saturday for the Gulf Coast Association of Pride’s ‘Pride Day’ celebration.

The organization has been hosting this event since 2016, and organizers said they’re excited to be back since they had to cancel the event due to COVID-19 last year.

People were able to gather to enjoy live music, drag queen shows, and over 50 vendors at the event.

Gulf Coast Association of Pride President Christopher Davidson said that hosting events like this reminds people in the LBGTQ community that they are accepted.

“It’s important for anybody in the LBGTQ plus community to have a safe haven where they can go and celebrate and feel like they’re in a safe place,” said Davidson. “They’re with everyone that they love and care about. It’s really important, especially here in South Mississippi.”

Before the festival started, organizers allowed Megan Chatman and Cristal Stieffel to get married.

Chatman-Stieffel said that her family does not support gay marriage and chose not to attend the wedding, but said she’s happy to be apart of a “new family” who accepts her for who she is.

“My parents are very Christian. I’m not going anywhere where my partner isn’t welcomed or wanted. My mother, my father, my sister, and brother have all just written me off when it comes to this,” said Stieffel. “But I have a new family now with the Stieffels’ and the coast LBGTQ community. They have all stepped up to make us feel loved and I’m so grateful.”

Catastrophe Knight officiated the wedding and was proud to do it in while in drag. Knight said that he’s happy to see that the LBGTQ community is being celebrated compared to earlier years.

“Before, people couldn’t be together or married. They couldn’t be seen as a gay couple in public without being beaten down or hurt. So, seeing this now we’re changing. It says that we are unified, growing and changing in all the places necessary. It provides a safe space. Everyone needs safe place for comfort. This is a place where you can come and be you no matter who you are,” said Knight.

Davidson said that there will be another drag show Sunday at Just US Lounge.

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