On Sunday September 12, the Couture elements Kru through their not for profit arm, the Underlined Response staged their first annual Pride Fest. The Festival sought to highlight and expose artistic talents existing within the local and diaspora LGBT community. The approximately three hour long performance programme included twenty (20) performances from forty (40) performers. Performances included recitals in modern dance, music, poetry and comedy.
The Drag Performance from Macey Grey highlighted the cultural elements of the programme; however, the crowd favourite seemingly was the All Male Oasis Dancers.
The Festival also marked the Underlined Response’s foray into the area of providing support to LGBT owned and operated businesses. Approximately nine (9) small business establishments were represented at the event through manned display booths or participation in the Night’s fashion show. Some organizations took the opportunity to provide on the spot services particularly in the area of body art.
Support from the community exceeded projections for audience attendance, as approximately 250-300 persons attended the event. With the unfortunate exception of one minor security breach the event went off with military precision and was punctuated with excellent music selection by DJ David (who was redeeming himself from the mishap of Dehydration).
5. The Jerk Chicken:- Once one got beyond the burnt exterior of the chicken it was actually first rate high quality jerk that was provided. However, on the plates we got, the skin was so badly burnt we wondered if the chicken was cremated rather than cooked.
4. The Oasis Bar:- For regular Wednesday night Attendees of the Oasis, they would know that the bar at that establishment offers first rate top notch drink options. However, for Oasis virgins it was a pleasant surprise and the bar-staff the picture of professional.
3. The unveiling of the Underlined Response Team:- the President’s speech was truly Presidential, a copy of which we are sourcing to be shared with you our readers. However, the unveiling highlighted the fact that this Not for Profit Organization is democratic in nature as all council positions were filled via ballot voting. This is a very novel approach to Not for Profit governance within the community and does strengthen the entity’s grass roots credentials.
2. The lack of HIV/AIDS information material: This is ironically a good thing. For too long and too often HIV/AIDS has been at the center of community life to the point where it has seemingly come to define us rather than being a public health concern of us. So whilst yes we support the presence of condom and lubricants at these events, we are glad that there were no HIV/AIDS testing and no in your face condom demonstrations.
1. Pillsbury being kicked in the Pool: On the lighter side Pillsbury, the loveable and affable co-proprietor of the Loft, taught us to Drink and Wine responsible. After clearly imbibing too much liquor the barman jumped on an apparently not too enthusiastic Ashley Kardashian who in turn promptly kicked him into the pool, Blackberry and all. It was a mighty splash but we hope lesson learned.
Looking Towards the Future
Pride Fest next year should be bigger but given the good vibes of this year it may be difficult to make it better. We propose that, the hours between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. should be spent having business clinics to provide technical support to the small businesses represented. This recommendation is based on the observation that the event started at 2 PM and the crowd did not start rolling in until around 7 P.M. Further, given the youthful audience a notable addition would be “World of Work Seminars” to provide potential employees tips on deportment, résumé writing and interviewing.