Pride Festival returns to Hudson after a two year hiatus

HUDSON—June is PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) Month globally.

In celebration of the occasion locally, the City of Hudson embraces and officially welcomes the 13th annual OutHudson LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival, June 1 to 5, with a non-stop schedule of events—day and night around the city.

A May 17 Hudson Common Council Resolution designating and celebrating June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the City says:

“The month of June is nationally recognized and celebrated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month in commemoration of the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City which marks the birth of the modern-day LGBTQ+ human rights movement…”

It notes that during the past several decades the city “has benefited from a vibrant and involved LGBTQ+ community that has helped in the revitalization and economic development of the City…”

“The Common Council is aware of and condemns the harassment, discrimination and violence that continues to be directed at the LGTBQ+ community; and… the City of Hudson takes pride in welcoming and involving LGBTQ+ persons in all aspects of living in Hudson.”

The Council goes on to “recognize and celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to the City… and does hereby designate the month of June 2022 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the City of Hudson.”

The Council additionally supported OutHudson’s 2022 Pride Parade with a $5,000 2022 Tourism and Events Award.

OutHudson Executive Director Osun Zotique (pronounced Ocean Zo-TEAK) told The Columbia Paper by phone this week that “though it has been more than 50 years since Stonewall and we have come a long way, the struggle is not over.” Pride recognition events will be “needed until all gender and sexual-based harassment is eradicated.

“Even then, the work of self acceptance is a lifelong journey for each and every individual on the planet,” said Mx. Zotique, who along with Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson will serve as the “Out of this World”-themed Pride parade co-grand marshals this Saturday, June 4.

In a recent press release, Mayor Johnson said, “I am thrilled and honored to serve as grand marshal for the exciting return of OutHudson’s Pride Parade this year. I look forward to celebrating our local LGBTQ+ community in June, and continuing to serve as an ally in my capacity as Mayor.”

Mx. Zotique said in the release, “I am filled with immense gratitude to Mayor Kamal Johnson for joining me in leading the 2022 Pride Parade as co-grand marshal, as well as the many organizations and members of the community who are marching along with us. And I am filled with appreciation to the entire Hudson community for how we are coming together to revel in LGBTQIA+ Pride this year, including our 18 event partners across the Columbia County area, who will be hosting additional fantastic community events outside of the parade.”

Though some small parties were held to celebrate Pride Month since 2020, two years worth of parades have been missed. As OutHudson executive director, Mx. Zotique “has been tasked with bringing the parade back to life after the pandemic.” Thirty-five floats are expected in this year’s line-up, along with 1,000 to 4,000 parade participants and 1,000 onlookers. “All the hotels are sold out,” Mx. Zotique noted.

The parade makes its way from the Seventh Street Park to the end of Warren Street at Front Street from 2 to 4 p.m., with line-up set for noon at Seventh Street Park.

A Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony at Hudson City Hall, 520 Warren Street, takes place Friday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Mayor’s Office, Pride Center of the Capital Region, In Our Own Voices, and OutHudson, the “podium event” will feature remarks by Mayor Johnson; Mx. Zotique; Capital District Executive Director Nathaniel Gray and In Our Own Voices Director Tandra La Grone.

Additional event programming announced includes a diverse roster of events supporting OutHudson’s mission of advancing visibility and improving the quality of life of local LGBTQIA+ and ally folx, the release said.

“After a two year hiatus, OutHudson Pride 2022 will be a reunion to re-connect and rejoice, while lifting up the community in celebration,” said Mx. Zotique.

A complete lineup of partner events, dates, times, places surrounding the return of the 2022 OutHudson Pride Festival may be found at: https://outhudsonny.wordpress.com/

To contact Diane Valden email

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