Out Montclair Shows Its Pride

Free pride flag image, public domain LGBTQ CC0 photo.

Ginger Uhlfelder

On June, 11, Montclair residents celebrated our very first pride festival! Organized and led by Out Montclair, “a nonprofit organization created to raise awareness and provide support and solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ community of Montclair” according to their website, the inaugural event was open to all ages and took place in downtown Montclair. 

The event was a celebration of the diverse community of Montclair, which was clear to anyone in attendance. The streets were packed with people of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and gender identities proudly expressing who they are or showing their support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Every pride flag was on display, and the joy of the moment was clear through the bright colors and smiles worn by everyone in attendance. 

Local vendors lined the blocked-off roads throughout downtown Montclair, providing guests with their fill of food, gifts, and pride memorabilia. Several nonprofit and activist organizations were also present, including Planned Parenthood. 

Two stages featured the afternoon’s entertainment, which included big names like Broadway’s Laura Benati, Emmy Award winner Judy Gold and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. Montclair’s own Jazz House Kids, School of Rock, and Drums of Thunder got their chance on the stage, and the cast of Vanguard Theater Company’s production of RENT sang several numbers from their show, which runs until July 3. There was a Drag Queen storytime for the younger crowd and an abridged version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the older folks. 

Out Montclair’s first pride festival had something for everyone, and will hopefully become an annual Montclair tradition. As Amanda Martinez, a rising senior at Montclair High School, said, “Montclair Pride gave me a visual representation of the supportive community in my town and made me feel seen as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.” 

You can continue supporting the local LGBTQ+ community by attending LGBTQ+ events, donating to LGBTQ+ organizations like Out Montclair and The Trevor Project, or educating yourself and your family to fight against ignorance and hatred.