The Pride of Wichita
by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
Brenda Way is “really proud” of the community in Wichita. Not just the LGBTQ community, she said, but the greater Wichita community, too.
Way is the Communications Director of Wichita Pride, Inc. (WPI) and said this year the LGBTQ community has really been coming together, working together for this year’s Pride. The event is scheduled September 24-25, with the theme “The Pride of Wichita.”
“We have refocused the Wichita Pride board and in turn are refocusing on the Pridefest,” said Way. “Previous years, WPI offered more events leading up to the weekend, whereas this year we are focusing the quality of fun and uniting all of the LGBTQ community.”
Way explained “After Orlando, this town has grown and matured in so many ways. The Wichita Police Department and the LGBTQ community has had a big part in that. I have seen competing bars and organizations come together and work for one goal, and this town has been blessed by the love and acceptance of each other. This year’s Pride festival may not be the biggest or the best in the country, but it is the biggest in the state and it is going to be the most loving and joyful pride event this community has ever seen.”
Way stands proud of her community and Wichita Pride.
“One new thing we are trying is, along with the buttons that cost $5, many organizations and local businesses will offer the buttons with ribbons on them that will say, ‘I got my Pride at...’ and it will name where they got their button.”
Way said WPI has made an extra push to make transgender acceptance more visible, a big statement for this year’s board of directors.
“One of the things I am really proud of is the extra push to trans inclusiveness this year,” she added. “One of the ways they are showing this visible support for the trans community is in the logo for this year. the colors include the eight colors in the trans inclusive flag, instead of the standard six color Pride flag.”
Way designed the logo for WPI 2016.
For family-friendly events this year: The Cargill sponsored community picnic at O.J Watson Park (3022 S McLean Blvd., Wichita) on Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. (food provided by Cargill, drinks donated by Pepsi). There will be a bounce house for the kids. At the Pride festival on Sunday (Mid-America All Indian Center), kids are always welcome.
“We have some great performers lined up for this year, starting with the Block Party at the Mid America All Indian center on Saturday 5-9 p.m.,” added Way. “We have a band called Women Without Purses and Trevor Stuart for music. We also have a comedian named Meghan Welch and a comedy troupe. We have a drag show at Boomerang on Saturday evening at 10:30 p.m., headlined by Mykul Jay Valentine.”
There will be entertainment at the event on Sunday (still pending). Plenty of vendors will be on hand Saturday and Sunday at the event. For more information, visit www.wichitapride.org.
The Mid-America All Indian Center, site of the Block Party, the Worship Service, and the Festival, is located at 650 N. Seneca St., in Wichita.
The Gayly – September 8, 2016 @ 2:30 p.m.