Out of the Closet Outfits for Oakland Pride
A sea of brown and beige faces inspired by poetry and music, loving couples swaying to the hypnotic sounds of Sheila E., and children devouring decadent funnel cakes created an Oakland Pride Festival of love and family. This year’s Oakland Pride Festival was flurry of activity, connectedness, and community. Oakland Pride celebrated its fifth anniversary with their first LGBT Pride Parade starting in downtown Oakland on Broadway.
What was lacking in leather chaps (and there was quite a brouhaha about this) was found in well, family centered activities (there were pony rides and a petting zoo!). Thousands of LGBT families attended the festivities and marched in the parade. The crowd was a diverse blend of varying economic classes and racial ethnic groups. There weren’t any Dykes on Bikes, but there were Tykes on Trikes followed by several church congregations. The Jolly Roger train from Children’s Fairy land made an appearance as well. The Grand Marshals were Grammy nominated singer/drummer Sheila E., Joe Hawkins, and Lirio Zepeda. Sheila E. later performed on the main Oakland stage.
According to the Advocate, Oakland is reported as having the highest concentration of LGBTQ families with children.
Oakland Pride is known mostly for being more diverse and having a larger focus on family. Of course there’s always a fierce queen out staging her rivals with rainbow splashed high inch heels and a teased up unicorn wig, but I got a chance to see Oakland fashion. And while the Pride Festival was only seven heavenly blocks, there were a lot of styles to see!
Wear Your Voice Magazine caught up with best friends in brightly colored tutus, family members with rainbow wings, splashy speakeasy style accessories, high-heeled divas, a gothic mama, and fresh t-shirt love.
Kelechi Ubozoh holds a degree in journalism from SUNY Purchase and was the first student reporter to have an Op-Ed piece published in The New York Times.The Brooklyn native’s first spark of interest for the the mental health field ignited after spending six months interviewing the New York homeless for her undergraduate thesis. After working as a print reporter for The Amsterdam News and Hometown Media Group in New York. Kelechi is excited to combine her love of research, writing, and connecting with the community with being instrumental in ending mental health stigma in the community.
When Kelechi isn’t exploring Oakland treasures, she’s singing in karaoke bars under the alias Vegas Cherry.