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Claremont’s Rural Pride Celebration Goes Virtual

Savannah Maher/NHPR
Liza Draper at Claremont's first-ever Rural Pride back in 2018. This year, Rural Pride is moving online due to COVID-19.

Claremont’s third annual Rural Pride is moving online this year due to COVID-19. Matt Mooshian, founder of Rural Outright, the organization behind the event, says it’s important to still hold Pride events this year, especially in rural areas.

“You know for a lot of folks who come to Rural Pride, it might be the only time of year that they get connected with, you know, a company that has binders if they’re trans,” he says. “Or it might be the only time they get to see a drag queen out in public. Or it might be the only time that they get to talk to someone about affirmative sex ed.”

Mooshian says Rural Pride will have a more intersectional lens this year, in light of the death of George Floyd and protests for racial justice across New Hampshire and the country.

A Progress Pride flag, like the one pictured here, will be raised in Windsor, VT as a part of this year's Rural Pride celebration.

“Friday – today – is Juneteenth. And we realized that we couldn’t celebrate Pride and not talk about that,” he says.

“LGBTQ liberation and liberation for people of color, for Black people especially, are very interconnected. We often say that a Black transgender woman threw the first brick at Stonewall. And that’s very true.”

This year’s Rural Pride includes several online Juneteenth events, and a virtual flag raising of the Progress Pride flag just over the state border in Windsor, Vermont.

The festivities will span two days – Friday and Saturday – culminating in a three-hour livestream variety show including storytelling, makeup tutorials, and a Queer Q&A session with LGBT leaders from across the state.

“We’re hoping that it will be anything from recommendations of where to get their haircut to ideas of other Prides to go to,” says Mooshian.

The variety show will stream live from Rural Outright’s Facebook page Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m.

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