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It’s National Pride Month! And the celebrations in Hawaii will go beyond June

Thousands lined the streets of Waikiki in 2019 for the Honolulu Pride parade.
Thousands lined the streets of Waikiki in 2019 for the Honolulu Pride parade.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 1:07 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 4, 2022 at 8:54 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, floats, dancing and a sea of color will sweep through the Rainbow State in June as part of National Pride Month.

Here’s a look at the free, in-person events:

Kauai Pride Parade and Festival

  • Live performances, face painting, and food trucks for all ages on Saturday. More info here.

Lanai Pride

  • Come out to Dole Park on June 18. See here.

Hawaii Island’s LGBTQ+ Pride

  • A parade and festival to close out the month on June 25! More here.

The Honolulu AIDS Walk and the Pride Community Picnic

  • The Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center is celebrating 31 years of the Honolulu AIDS Walk followed by the family-friendly Pride Community Picnic with lunch and games on June 25. Register for the walk here and see picnic details here.

While June is National Pride Month, the Honolulu counterpart actually takes place in October. And the Honolulu Pride Parade and Festival, the largest in the islands, is set to return in person on October 15.

Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation, the organizers behind Honolulu Pride, say there are a few reasons why October is designated as Honolulu Pride Month. For one, October hosts LGBT History Month, National Coming Out Day and Spirit Day against LGBTQ youth bullying.

October is also a shoulder season for Hawaii ― the time in between the peak and off-seasons when travel fares are usually lower, which means a bigger turnout.

“It gives the opportunity for people to access Pride and not be in competition with the other Prides,” said Francine Beppu, the foundation’s chairperson. “The long-term vision, of course, is to have the community come together and create the safe space so that Hawaii and Honolulu Pride is a major destination for gay travel.”

Organizers say initiatives like the Tiny Float parade, created in 2020 to celebrate virtually, will be shelved in favor of grand celebrations with COVID health and safety as a top priority.

The origins of Honolulu Pride began in 2008 when the LGBT Legacy Foundation was formed.

The foundation united two competing organizations that hosted their own respective celebrations to form one Honolulu Pride under the shared vision of supporting Hawaii’s LGBTQ community, Beppu said.

Honolulu Pride is only continuing its growth. Over the past 14 years, the festival gained the sponsorship of Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaii Tourism Authority and more.

The modern fight towards LGBTQ rights can be traced back to the Stonewall Uprising.

A central bar for the NYC LGBT community, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police on June 28, 1969 when homosexuality was still criminalized in the state.

What followed were six days of resistance from a group of people tired of being policed and oppressed for their identity.

The Stonewall Riots launched the first Pride marches in the United States, which then spread throughout the world.

“Honolulu Pride is a continuation of that movement,” said Randy Soriano, foundation director. “What’s unique about Hawaii is we do have that concept of aloha.”

The theme for Honolulu Pride 2022 will be announced on June 15.

For ways to get involved in the Hawaii LGBTQ community, visit the LGBT Legacy Foundation’s website.

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