SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A local group in Suffolk is looking to make history with the city’s first-ever Pride celebration this weekend.
Community Engagement Officer Mia Feliu with Suffolk Pride says the first-of-its-kind celebration will take over Bennetts Creek Park in Suffolk Sunday to make Pride celebrations more accessible.
“Usually travel times can be up to an hour for those in Isle of Wight County, especially out there, to go to Norfolk and Virginia Beach where most things are usually held,” she said.
Feliu says they’re very excited because of the positive feedback they’ve been getting so far.
Suffolk Mayor Michael Duman even signed a proclamation formally acknowledging Pride month.
“Especially with such a large LGBTQ+ community right here in the city, I think that the city is just ready for this type of representation,” she said.
The celebration comes at a time when local organizers say the community is in need of a local LGBT center in Suffolk.
“I think that having community centers like this is really beneficial for those in Suffolk, especially LGBT youth who still gets bullied a lot,” she said. “We want to create a safe space for [them].”
Organizers say they hope Sunday’s festival is a step toward creating more local safe spaces for the LGBTQ community.
“We’re just creating a safe space for those who are interested and just helping the LGBT youth, and kids, and adults who are struggling and don’t have their own spaces to go with similar people,” she said.
The event is from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 27 at Bennetts Creek Park.
Find out how you can donate to their effort to build a Suffolk LGBT center here.