CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – Charlotte Black Pride is hoping to attract large crowds for its 16th-year return and bring awareness to some of the issues in the LGBTQ Community.
The Human Rights Campaign list Charlotte as the second deadliest city in the U.S. for transgender women. Candy Neverson is one of the organizers and says it has been a struggle organizing the event during COVID.
The week-long event normally attracts more than 25,000 people. Last year, the group had to cancel it due to the pandemic.
“We were not able to get the sponsorships, ambassadors, and things like that to sign up as we normally would expect last year,” Neverson said. “Our theme this year is we the people and that’s what we want everybody to know that we are here we are you we are queer, and we’re excited.”
Paris Nicole Brooks is a female illusionist and travels the U.S. representing the LGBTQ Community. Right now, she holds several titles including Miss Charlotte Black Sweetheart. She’ll be performing at one of the events this week.
“It’s a blessing, honestly, to be a representation of our community,” Brooks said. “As someone of color, not just a female illusionist, but also a black gay man, it is good to have representation.”
Gelisa Stitt says the events were created with black and brown transgender women in mind. Earlier this year, police say two transwomen were shot to death at a hotel two weeks apart.
“That was very much a tragic situation,” Stitts said.
It’s a tragic reality not only seen in Charlotte but increasing across the U.S. Last year more than 40 transgender people were killed in the U.S. according to The Human Rights Campaign. Meantime, the events open the door for a safe space.
“It’s being seen,” Stitts said. “Just trying to let people know that we are here. Black LGBTQ people are here.”
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There is an event every day this week except on Monday. Organizers say they’ve seen the number of festival-goers dwindle and want people to know the event is inclusive to everyone.
Here’s an overview of the week’s events:
- Charlotte black pride pageant — 9 p.m., Sunday, July 11
- Accelerate your fitness — 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 13
- “Their future, our fight” Town Hall — 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 14
- Centerstage: A Celebration of black LGBTQ+ dancers — 6 p.m., Thursday, July 15
- Charlotte Black Pride Annual meet & greet/family reunion — 3 p.m., Friday, July 16
- Charlotte Black Pride Expo — 12 p.m., Saturday, July 17
- The skyline brunch — 11 a.m., Sunday, July 18
You can click here for more information about the event.
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