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Supporting the pride parade in Starkville

In light of recent events in Starkville, we, the UM Pride Collective, have been in contact with the LGBTQ+ community of Starkville and want to make clear that Starkville Pride’s weekend-long celebration will persist.The members of the Starkville Board of Aldermen who voted to deny the parade permit may have thought that they would dampen the spirits of Starkville Pride; however, this has served to strengthen the resolve of LGBTQ+ Mississippians, mobilizing and uniting us.

The UM Pride Collective — UM Pride Network, Queer People of Color, OUTGrads, and OUTLaw — want to emphasize our support for the resilient, hardworking and brave LGBTQ+ residents of Starkville who have been putting their hearts and souls into this inspiring weekend.

It’s an important time for the Oxford LGBTQ+ community and allies to show our support and stand up alongside our neighbors in Starkville. The UM Pride Collective will be helping to organize transportation to Starkville on March 23 and 24 to participate in the weekend of Starkville Pride. If you are interested, there are several ways to support the Starkville community’s efforts:

•Donate to the Starkville Pride gofundme campaign

•Physically participate! Keep your eyes peeled for more information and signups for travel to Starkville from Oxford.

•Share the word that this event will go on! Misinformation has circulated which suggests that the events have been canceled. It is really important to share information about the scheduled events.

Signed,

UM Pride Network, Regan Willis, President; Brenna Paola, Vice President

Queer People of Color, Malik Pridgeon, Executive Director

OUTGrads, Sarah Heying, President; Jessica Cogar, Vice President; Hooper Schultz, Secretary; Katie Albers, Treasurer

OUTLaw, Cody Bradford

The Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies