InterPride, the international organization of LGBTQ pride organizers, converged on Las Vegas, Nevada for the Annual General Meeting from October 13–19. Members from around the world—Europe, Australia, Korea, and Queens, as well as representatives from all over the United States—met in Sin City at the Alexis Park Resort to report to one another on the successes and challenges of the past Pride year. Plans for next year’s marches, political actions and celebrations were discussed as well.
Board members arrived ahead of the delegates, as Board meetings began on the morning of October 14, and there was much work to do. Board members hold regular meetings via conference software during the year, and when we can take advantage of reporting progress to one another face-to-face, that’s the ideal situation. A conference bridge was offered for the committee meetings, so those members who couldn’t travel could still be part of the meeting.
When the general delegation assembled, InterPride discovered that, simply among those organizations present at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), our events had touched more than 10 million lives via the people who attended. Imagine how many more lives were touched via the coverage and the word-of-mouth from people who were part of 15-person marches up through events like NYC Pride and San Francisco Pride, which draw hundreds of thousands of people.
We had delegates hailing from as far away as Korea and Australia and as nearby as our hosts from Las Vegas as well as Phoenix Pride, San Diego Pride, El Paso Pride, and more. The Silent Auction, held traditionally at the Saturday night Gala celebration, brought in its biggest donations ever in its history due in part to the generosity of InterPride’s friends from Spain, hosts of World Pride in 2017. A travel package was auctioned off which alone raised more than $6,000 to assure that more people from smaller organizations are able to have a voice at the AGM.
Among the biggest news to come from this year’s AGM was the suggested addition of a Trans-identified Vice President At Large for InterPride. A Board level position, next year’s delegation must also approve it by majority for this to become law. The AGM location for 2017 was awarded to Indianapolis, Indiana, whose presentation dazzled, as it demonstrated all they have to offer! Further, World Pride, licensed by InterPride only periodically, was awarded to NYC Pride, which made a thrilling presentation, showing that World Pride would truly be a memorable event as part of the Stonewall 50 commemoration in 2019, which commemorates the Stonewall Rebellion, the nights of rioting outside the Stonewall Inn in 1969, which began what is commonly considered to be the modern age of the fight for LGBTQ Civil Rights. Congratulations to all!
InterPride members welcomed our colleagues from the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA). Kristine Garina, their newly elected President, came from Riga, Latvia, which had just hosted EuroPride this summer. We held many productive conversations and many North Americans are making plans to visit our friends in the European Pride pantheon, as well as our local and destination prides.
So much to do and so little time, World Pride next year in Madrid, and the InterPride AGM held in Montpellier, France in 2016 continue to put pep in our steps, even as we are all planning for what Pride Season will bring for us and what we will bring to our locations. Make your travel plans and join us–we’re always looking for great volunteers! Expand your world–it gets smaller as your mind expands!