I'm sitting at home on a Monday evening trying to recover from the phenomenal weekend that just happened in Phoenix. This weekend Phoenix would see the Rainbow Festival, AIDS Walk, and Black Party all go down within a matter of two days. For now I'll just focus on the Rainbow Festival (details about other events to follow). The Rainbow Festival was amazing. The jump off happened at the downtown Heritage Square Park.
Why do I love the Rainbow Festival? Much like Phoenix Gay Pride weekend, the Rainbow Festival is one of those rare times when many from the LGBT community come out and celebrate the richness and diversity of our community. So the event always turns into a bit of a reunion for me. It's like a family barbeque, you get to see those friends that you haven't seen in a while come out and party for a moment.
What made this year so special was that I was one of the Phoenix Pride "Creative Expressions Coming Out Stories" contest winners. As a winner I was able to share my coming out story with those in attendance. I chose to share my coming out story by way of a video (you can see the video here). Others chose different "creative expressions" for sharing how they came out. Erin Whitney shared her rainbow colored heart shaped tattoo located on the back of her neck. Erin Clawson wrote a poem that summarized her coming out experience. You can learn about all of the coming out contest winners here.
The highlight of the weekend was the performance by Bebe Zahara Benet. Winner from season one of RuPaul's Drag Race. Bebe was in town for the Black Party presented by the Men of Libra where she would be debutting her new single, Dirty Drums. Before the party she made a pitstop by the Rainbow Festival to perform a couple of numbers. It seemed the entire festival swooped over to the stage to see Bebe perform. Phoenix showed Bebe the love she deserves.
We learned this weekend that Phoenix Pride has now acquire the Rainbow Festival. So from this point forward this event will be sponsored, created and presented by Phoenix Pride. I'm sure we will be seeing some changes to the festival in the future because of this change but one thing that Phoenix Pride has promised us, the Rainbow Festival is now and will always be a free events that is welcoming to the LGBT community and friends and family of the community.
If you weren't there this year hopefully I'll see you at the Rainbow Fest 2012. See all my pics from the event here.