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'Events like this are super important': Norman kicks off Pride Month with resource fair featuring local community groups

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pflag artwork

Chalk artwork by attendees of PFLAG Norman's drive-thru resource fair at Andrews Park on June 5. 

Norman’s LGBTQ+ events for Pride Month 2021 started with a resource event at Andrews Park.

The event, organized by Norman’s PFLAG chapter, was originally designed to be a drive-thru resource fair, said chapter president Michael Robertson. When the mask mandate in Norman was lifted, the board decided to make it a hybrid event, Robertson said.

“We adapted. We wanted people to feel as involved as possible, especially after last year,” said PFLAG board member Jenny Loorah.

Along with the PFLAG table, three other groups were set up. Norman Pride had a table featuring its newest T-shirt design and keychains to raise money for upcoming pride events in October.

“We’re ingrained in the community,” Daryl Callaway, Norman Pride board member, said. “Events like this are super important to not just us, but everyone.”

OKC Pride will host a parade and a festival the weekend of June 25. Norman Pride events will begin October 8 with a kick off party, followed by a festival on October 9 and a parade on October 10. Last year, pride events throughout Oklahoma were canceled or rescheduled due to the pandemic.

St. Francis Animal Resource Center also hosted a booth, providing bags of donated dog and cat food along with flyers about animal welfare and health. Their unofficial mascot, a dog named Pig, greeted attendees from the booth.

“We want to keep pets with their people,” Jessica Beam, a volunteer, said.

Local literacy promotion organization The Little Read Wagon brought books about gender identity and sexuality to the event. The group handed out children’s books and beaded necklaces.

“We want everyone to enjoy reading. I mean, absolutely everyone,” Wendy Williams, another volunteer, said.

According to its website, The Little Read Wagon aims to promote literacy, particularly within oppressed groups and minorities.

Goodie bags provided by PFLAG featured boxes of chalk, which many attendees used to decorate the nearby sidewalk

“I want to celebrate (pride) the right way,” Bo Rainbow, Norman High graduate, said.

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