Gulf Coast Pride shines despite handful of protesters

Gulf Coast Pride shines despite handful of protesters
Updated: Jul. 1, 2018 at 9:21 AM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It was a colorful display of love Saturday in Biloxi as hundreds gathered to celebrate Pride Month.

In spite of the handful of protesters who showed up at Point Cadet, Gulf Coast Pride was filled with bright colors and bold personalities. Free shows, vendors, face painting, and other events welcomed everyone, all in support of the LGBTQ community.

The Pride festival was the culmination of a month of events celebrating everyone who is gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, or queer. June is recognized as Pride Month across the nation.

This is only the second year that Gulf Coast Pride has been held, but organizers and attendees say it's an event that is very much needed in South Mississippi.

"It's great, it's wonderful," said one festival-goer. "It's just a celebration of life. It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, there's families everywhere out here. It doesn't matter."

Even having the notorious Westboro Baptist Church show up to protest the event didn't stop families of all kinds from showing up, kids in hand, eager to celebrate love and equality.

"Seeing the young kids being happy and actually being able to be themselves, and this is their first pride event, it's heart-warming and it fills me with a lot of hope for the community in the future," said another person attending the Pride festival.

Live entertainment danced across the Pride Day stage throughout the event, featuring performances from drag performers from across the region. More than 40 vendors were set up, selling everything from artwork to food. There was even an interactive kids' zone for the little ones to play.

The event grew even larger since last year's inaugural festival. Businesses across South Mississippi even lit up in honor of Pride Month and Gulf Coast Pride, offering their support to the LGBTQ community, as well.

Drag performer Estelle Suarez was named Miss Gulf Coast Pride 2018.

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