We visited the Pride celebration this past weekend in Drake Park, and Bend sure has changed since 2005 when the Human Dignity Coalition and a few dozen brave folks threw the first public Pride celebration in McKay Park. Back in those days, many locals were hesitant to join the party, out of concern that they might be seen there by colleagues or neighbors. PFLAG was there, and Planned Parenthood, but few other community organizations set up booths, making Pride a small gathering in the most closet-like of Bend's parks.
Judging from this weekend's turnout in Drake Park, Bend's LGBTQI community has busted out of the closet in fabulous fashion. Same-sex couples strolled through Drake Park holding hands, and no one so much as blinked. Thousands of visitors of all ages visited dozens of community booths, sipped swanky cocktails at Stonewall Lounge, sang along to classic rock songs with a tutu-clad band of youth, and subjected themselves to a bit of raunchy humor from a transgender emcee.
We are giving a Glass Slipper to the community of Bend. You've come a long way, baby!
We have always been fans of Troy Field and have gone on record saying that we think it should be preserved for public use. Next Wednesday, July 6th, a local group of similarly-minded citizens will host a DIY community potluck picnic in Troy Field, inviting anyone and everyone to bring a lawn chair, spread out a picnic blanket, and share a basket of food with friends and neighbors.
We love the fact that they are using this undeveloped piece of land to demonstrate just how valuable it is to the community, exactly the way it is. Not only do we encourage all our readers to join the potluck, we are awarding the organizers a Glass Slipper for providing such a fun and family-friendly form of political protest.