Like many others, my first reaction to the depressing vote results on North Carolina's Amendment One - which relegates LGBT North Carolina citizens to the 4th class citizenship status that LGBT Virginians have lived under almost 6 years (I have more legal recognition of my ownership of my Chihuahua than to my relationship with my husband) - was to totally boycott all of North Carolina. Was I angry and seeking revenge? Yes, most definitely.
But I've calmed down somewhat now and learned that little Dare County - the only county not home to a major city or university - had in fact voted AGAINST Amendment One. Moreover, I've been in regular communication with the organizers of OBX Pridefest which will be hosting its second annual pride event on June 15-18th.
OBX Pridefest is based in Nags Head, North Carolina, and its organizers and sponsoring businesses hope the word will get out that their portion of the Outer Banks is gay friendly. Members of the LGBT community from other areas such as Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Washington DC need to show solidarity and support their event.
Yes, that's right. The truth is that as many of us as possible need to support OBX Pridefest and the gay owned and gay friendly businesses that are sponsoring the event. Non-sponsors or supporters of Amendment One, go ahead and boycott them if you like. But PLEASE, PLEASE SUPPORT the event and the businesses that have rejected bigotry and put their reputations on the line for our community.
Check out the sponsors on the image above and also go to OBX Pridefest's webpage and make your reservations for rentals, lodging and restaurants accordingly.
The Boyfriend and I attended the first OBX Pridefest last year and had a wonderful time. PLEASE attend this year's event if possible and support the LGBT supportive sponsors of the event.
It is also important to know that OBX Pridefest is more than simply a big party.
The proceeds go to charitable causes. This year's proceeds will go to fund the local Dare County based HIV-AIDS assistance nonprofit called "Brandon's Beacon of Hope--HIV-AIDS Foundation".
BBH will be the 2nd charity recipient (last year it was the Outer Banks Hotline for battered spouses and children). This BBH will be working with the regional medical professions to offer absolute private services and assistance to victims of HIV-AIDS in the Northeast region of North Carolina. Up until now, those needing assistance had to travel to metropolitan areas to receive care, and thus, the number of victims in Dare County and the surrounding regions has gone unreported.
OBX Pridefest is trying to change that, and they hope those in other communities can help. Even though people are living much longer lives with HIV, the average cost to these people is $367,000 for the rest of their lives. Your attendance at, donation to, or sponsorship of OBX Pridefest will direct help to BBH.