Palouse Pride community keeps marching on

Organizations like Inland Oasis showed their support Saturday



Participants at the Palouse Pride Festival celebrate their identities Saturday at Moscow’s East City Park. Many carried signs expressing their support, 2018.

DAVID LAY , Evergreen reporter

Rainbow colors decorated the streets in Moscow for the Palouse Pride Festival on Saturday. Crowds of people filled the streets, enjoying the sunshine of the Palouse.

Blocks of people raised signs in the air, each sporting sayings such as “Love each other” and “Proud parent.”

From Fourth and Jefferson to East City Park, crowds marched and vibrant colors swam through the air.

One proud marcher was Rosie Gray, a 15-year-old girl from Post Falls, Idaho. Gray was visiting family in town and said she was marching because she is pansexual.

“Pride is acceptance for who you are,” she said.

As the Palouse Pride March came to a halt, the crowds paraded through the festival’s park. Many organization representatives supportive of the LGBTQ community welcomed all of the guests with open arms.

Hannah Hyman, president of Inland Oasis, a volunteer-based LGBTQ organization, also took on a role as the lead coordinator of this event.

“People may not always feel free to be themselves, and need a place to be themselves,” Hyman said.

At the moment, there is not an LBGTQ center in the Palouse region, but Hyman is interested in creating one. However, Inland Oasis provides many opportunities and programs. One such opportunity is what Hyman called the “Leily Long Leg Grant,” which intends to help people that are struggling.

Inland Oasis will provide free HIV testing starting around the beginning of October. It also hosts Drag Bingo every second Monday at the 1912 Center in Moscow.

Drag performer Diana Fire entertains the crowd at the Palouse Pride Festival on Saturday at Moscow’s East City Park.

“I really like helping people and making a difference,” Hyman said.

Music echoed through the park as people crowded around the stage. Different performers, from lip-sync singers to dancers and musicians, demonstrated their skills.

Senators representing the LGBTQ community spoke on stage, addressing important issues in the community.

Many booths populated the festival, one of them from the Pride Foundation. One of the volunteers with the foundation, Eric McDermott, is a ninth grade U.S. history teacher.

He has been volunteering at the Pride Foundation for at least five years. The organization gives LGBTQ students the opportunity to receive college scholarships. Last year it gave away $505,000 worth of scholarships to 37 students.

“It’s a way for our community to come together,” McDermott said, when speaking on the importance of Pride.

He said the community is very supportive of each other, and he enjoys volunteering with the Pride Foundation to support students.

People of all different backgrounds, including many students from WSU, decided to participate.

Daylan Kelting, a computer science major, attended with his partner Cassie Phillips, a physics and Spanish major. Phillips was very enthusiastic to be at the festival, and a smile spread across her face when she talked about it. She said she attended in order to support others.

Kelting said that he believed that Pride was about “knowing who you are and being supportive of others.”