Charlotte Pride to celebrate with St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Image courtesy FlagNation, via Zazzle. Click image to visit.

Image courtesy FlagNation, via Zazzle. Click image to visit.

Charlotte Pride is excited to announce that it will march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16 in Uptown Charlotte!

Charlotte Pride extends a hand of welcome to leaders and members of local LGBTQ organizations to join us in our marching contingent as we celebrate this special day with our Irish brothers and sisters. As space in our marching contingent is limited to 25 people, those interested in joining us are asked to email Richard Grimstad at richard@charlottepride.org with the following information: (a) Name of organization, (b) number of individuals interested in joining us in the parade, and (c) contact information for chief point-of-contact. Consideration to join the marching contingent will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis; some marching slots have already been filled. Those interested in participating will be asked to respect the history, honor and dignity of this special family-friendly day for the Irish and Irish-American community and will be expected to follow all rules, regulations and procedures set by the organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and by Charlotte Pride.

Charlotte Pride is humbled to join in this annual celebration for the first time since several LGBTQ community organizations marched in Charlotte’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the 1990s proudly carrying pink and green balloons in solidarity with the Irish and LGBTQ communities. It is an honor and special privilege to participate in this event and we thank the welcome of Charlotte’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers, as we know such a welcome is not always extended to LGBTQ people. During its 250th anniversary in 2012, the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade continued its long policy of exclusion toward LGBTQ marching contingents. At the time, Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore responded: “What these parades are about is a celebration of Ireland and Irishness. I think they need to celebrate Ireland as it is, not as people imagine it. Equality is very much the center of who we are in our identity in Ireland. This issue of exclusion is not Irish, let’s be clear about it. Exclusion is not an Irish thing. … I think that’s the message that needs to be driven home.” We are very proud to join in solidarity with our Irish brothers and sisters both here and abroad, many of whom have benefited from Ireland’s and our own nation’s increasing LGBTQ-friendly inclusion.

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