LONG BEACH, Calif. – Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride is proud to announce the re-design of the Teen Pride and Family Fun Zone area at this year’s annual festival. In celebration of their 35th Anniversary, “Remember the Past, Create the Future”, the organization is collaborating with old and new community partners to make this year’s LGBT+ youth area a fun and interactive weekend.
This year’s Teen Pride Partners for the area include The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, represented by Joel Gemino, Youth Services Manager, who will oversee Teen Pride. The event will take place on Friday, May 18th from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM, at the festival site. Joel along with “the Mighty Group” a youth group at The Center, have created an evening that will feature a talent show, performances, guest appearances, a gaming truck, photo booth, free food, beverages, DJ’s, raffles and gift bags. Teen Pride is a free event.
For the Family Fun Zone, Long Beach Pride welcomes two new community partnering organizations; Long Beach Unified School District and Brave Trails Leadership Camp. The members of the LBUSD are represented by Dr. Cassandra Richards, Principal of Fremont Elementary School and Jonathan Guevara, a kindergarten teacher at Willard Elementary School. They will have a schedule of interactive activity for children that parents may participate in. “The kids will have a wonderful time creating things like slime and playdough, just to name a few of the activities”, said Dr. Richards. “We are truly excited to be able to give back to our LGBT+ families”, continued Richards.
Brave Trails Leadership Camp is represented by Jessica Weissbuch, the Co-Founder and Jake Young, the Assistant Director. Brave Trails is an LGBTQ+ youth leadership camp. Their program focuses on four key elements: Leadership, Community Building, Self-Realization, and Service. “We use workshops, adventure, creative programming, service projects, peer connections and positive role models to create a safe space where youth can thrive,” said Jessica Weissbuch.
The Family Fun Zone area will open Saturday, May 19th and Sunday May 20th from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM and will have a mixture of interactive workshops and activities that will appeal to our youth no matter their ages. A schedule of events will be posted on the Long Beach Pride website, as well as, more information about our community partners, pictures, and videos of activities.
There will also be a range of volunteers, like Stephanie Camacho-Van Dyke, Youth Program Manager at the LGBT Center of OC. “We don’t have a Family Fun Zone area at our Pride event, so I volunteered my time to be a part of this wonderful event for our youth”, said Camacho Van Dyke.
As for the future, the planning of Teen Pride and Family Fun Zone will be turned over to the youth. It’s time for the adults to get out of the way and allow the youth to take the lead in this area. This presents the perfect opportunity for our youth to be introduced to Long Beach Pride, as well as, help them develop planning skills that we hope will become the building blocks to important life skills. We will create an adult mentor group, utilizing our community partners, who will be there to assist the youth with budgets, contracts, decorating and everything else that goes into creating their own unique space. This is our future generation so we are taking the steps to nurture our relationship with them now. Youth will be able to sign up, if interested, at Teen Pride and Family Fun Zone.
Labeled one of the nation’s best Pride venues, Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride is proud to carry on this annual event to move equality forward in America and allow festival goers a safe environment to be who they were born to be. The annual Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, May 20th, 2018. The Parade step off begins at 10:30 am on the scenic Ocean Blvd at Lindero Avenue. The Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival is Saturday, May 19th and Sunday, May 20th. For more information please visit our website www.longbeachpride.com or call us at (562) 987-9191.