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For The First Time, Again: Portsmouth Pride Returns To Prescott Park

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Julia Furukawa/NHPR
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A crowd of people watch the New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus perform at Portsmouth Pride on June 26, 2021. The event had to go virtual last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.";

Prescott Park was decked out in rainbow as Portsmouth's Pride celebration kicked off, for the first time, again. After going virtual last year, hundreds jumped at the chance to come out and celebrate LGBTQ+ communities in person.

Food vendors set up shop for hungry customers, children played with rainbow balls in a nearby fountain, and a throng of people encircled the New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus for a performance.

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The event was organized in part by Seacoast Outright, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth. Executive director Hershey Hirschkop stood by her table, passing out temporary tattoos to eager attendees. She said last year was particularly challenging for LGBTQ+ youth, so coming together for a Pride celebration was vital.

“To feel like you have a common cause and you're in this together and you support each other and you understand this piece of each other's lives is important,” Hirschkop said.

Darcy Hinkle recently graduated from high school and came out with a group of friends for the night. She said, for her, Pride is about acknowledging LGBTQ+ history, while looking to the future.

“It’s just a space for people to celebrate something that, for a lot of history, hasn't been able to be celebrated much and kind of think about people who helped us get here and where we're at with queer liberation and how far we need to go,” Hinkle said.

As a growing crowd got ready for a movie and drag show, Greg Marvinsmith found a place to sit on the lawn with his young children. He said he brought them along to pass on the message of celebrating people of all identities.

“It's a teaching that I would like to pass on to my children of acceptance and love for everyone," he said.

If you're planning to do something for the first time again, we'd love to help share your story. Send an email about your plans to voices@nhpr.org, or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. Click here for more details on how to participate.

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