After a year-long pandemic induced hiatus, Pride is officially returning to Fairbanks. Local festivities are planned throughout the month to celebrate members of the LGBTQ community.
University of Alaska Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Jo Malbert Navaez is optimistic about the planned events and expects Fairbanks Pride to bring “energy and positivity” to the local community.
Because most in-person Pride events were cancelled last year due to Covid, “It’s been more than a year since our community has been able to come together. This has taken a toll on members of the LGBTQ community’s mental health. People are very excited to come together and see each other expressing themselves. Personally, I’m very excited to see other LGBTQ folks in the community,” says Navaez.
He added, “it’s a misconception that because Fairbanks is a small town, we don’t have an LGBTQ community. This is not true. The community here is resilient and finds ways to come together. We respond when others are in need and show up when other people need us.” Navaez says.
He describes the Fairbanks LGBTQ community as, “thriving and resilient.”
In the United States, Pride month is celebrated in June to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement. Most Pride events are held in June, although some cities hold celebrations at other times of the year.
Local LGBTQ community member, advocate and drag performer Bianca Fusion says that Fairbanks Pride will honor members of the LGBTQ community who have sacrificed along the way.
“Pride is difficult to summarize because it encompasses so many things. It’s a response to the persecution that the LGBTQI community has experienced. It’s a declaration of independence and a time to reflect and mourn the people who have sacrificed along the way. Most of all, it’s about existing without pretense,” says Fusion.
The festivities are expected to kick-off Saturday evening at The Roundup Steakhouse & Saloon. Doors to the “Wicked Queen’s Unlimited Pride Party” open at 8 p.m. and the entry fee for the event is $10.
Fairbanks Pride celebrations will continue throughout the month of June. The UAF Diversity and Inclusion Center plans to host a Picnic at Pioneer Park and a June Pride Ride. Other events include a drag brunch at Goldie’s AK and the Rainbow Choir performing at the Fairbanks Folk Fest in Ester.
Both Fusion and Navaez encouraged interested members of the Fairbanks community to get involved with local queer organizations such as the Interior Aids Association and the Fairbanks PFLAG Chapter.
Contact reporter Liv Clifford at 459-7582 or follow her at twitter.com/FDNMcrime.
Pride events in Fairbanks
Looking for a Pride event? Check out what’s happening this month in Fairbanks to celebrate Pride month.
Officially called “Wicked Queens Unlimited Pride Party 2021,” it’s a night of drag performers and dancing presented by Wicked Queens Unlimited, a new collaborative drag venture in Fairbanks.
Hosted by Bianca Fusion, the grande dame of Fairbanks queens, performers include Envy De LA Fleurs, Lamia Lexicon, Penny Dragful, Dela Rosa and Salmon Chowder. The show is Saturday, June 12, with doors opening at 8 p.m. and the show starting at 9 p.m. Following the performance, DJ Vapor will take over turning the night into a Pride dance party.
Admission is $10, and the night is for ages 21 and older. It’s upstairs at The Attic, located above Roundup Steakhouse & Saloon, 2701 S. Cushman St.
Hosted by the UAF Nanook Diversity and Action Center, the community picnic is 6 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Moose Creek Pavilion in Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way, and includes lawn games, volleyball and food.
It’s free to attend and open to the public, and all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The event will be abiding by all CDC and UAF policy, their Facebook listing states.
Join Northwest Campus, the Nanook Diversity & Action Center, and UAF’s Department of Equity and Compliance for the virtual event “Beyond Stonewall: Past and Present Movements for LGBTQ+ Equality,” starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 21, online or via Zoom, presented by Ronnie Houchin. See uaf.edu/ndac for more.
Dubbed “Pride Ride: Bikes and Brews,” the event is gathering of riders and beer fans hopping on their bikes for a cruise through the city. It starts at 4 p.m. Friday, June 25, and is free to attend and open to the public. Riders will meet at the UAF Taku parking lot and go from there to Pioneer Park. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Afterward, riders are invited to the UAF Pub at 7 p.m. for trivia. You must be 21 or older to enter the pub. Email email@example.com for more information.
Fairbanks’ Rainbow Choir, an LGBTQ singing group, is performing Saturday, June 26, at the 33rd annual Fairbanks Folk Fest in Ester Community Park. The music festival runs noon to 7 p.m.
Klondike Drag is back with its first live performance since the pandemic started, slated by Saturday, June 26, at Goldie’s AK, 659 Fifth Ave., with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the show starting at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 cash, $17 with a card, and the night is ages 21 and older.
After staying out all night, you’ll need a mimosa to get your Sunday going.
That’s why Klondike Drag, Goldie’s AK and the food truck The Hapunan Shack are hosting drag brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 27 at Goldies AK, 659 Fifth Ave., with a lineup of Fairbanks performers.
Tickets are available at the door and are $15 cash and $17 if you’re paying by card. It’s ages 21 and older only.