A decade old, Pride steps forward again

HUDSON—As The Columbia Paper went to press, the 10th annual OutHudson Pride Festival was in full swing. Spotty Dog Books & Ale started the festivities on June 12 with a reading by Karen Williams and Camille Spencer. The Carrie Haddad Gallery opened “Mortals, Saints and Myths” the same day.

Beginning Friday, June 14 the festival would be packed with events and parties, all described at outhudson.com.

Caught between meetings on Tuesday, Rich Volo, aka Trixie Starr, the driving force behind 10 Pride Festivals in Hudson, said more than 50 groups would march in Saturday’s parade. Marchers line up at noon near the 7th Street Park and wend their way down Warren Street, with planned music and impromptu dance.

Asked Tuesday if he was having fun, Mr. Volo, also a Fourth Ward alderman on the Hudson Common Council, hesitated. “Well, there are moments,” he said.

The good news is that the Pride Festival team starts organizing the event in January, and after 10 parades, “We have figured it out,” said Mr. Volo. “As much as we can.”

In a difference from years past, this year’s festival is more decentralized, with each business taking responsibility for its own event, and OutHudson acting as an umbrella.

“For years we ended the parade with a big festival at the waterfront,” said Mr. Volo. “It was a lot of work and burned out volunteers, so now after the parade we send people out to events at local businesses—Or, Helsinki, and at night, Basilica. And I can take a phone call on Tuesday.”

Mr. Volo was born a few months after what’s known as the Stonewall uprising started in New York City in June 1969, so he knows the event, now considered the start of the gay liberation movement, as history.

“The big thing is that before Stonewall, it was illegal for gay people to get together in a bar,” he said. Fifty years later, same-sex marriage is a common, happy event in the United States.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Mr. Volo, and Hudson is part of that.

“One of my favorite stories,” he said, warming to the subject, “is being at an event in drag” as Trixie Starr, “and the two sisters who own Tanzy’s [Restaurant, lower Warren Street] came over to me and asked me, ‘Has anyone ever bothered you?’

“I said no, people were very nice.

“‘Good,’ they said. ‘If anyone ever does, have them talk to us.’”

The weather forecast is pretty good for this weekend, and the friendship forecast, among straights and the LGBTQ community, is great.

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