GLENS FALLS | Ken Petrie-Tubbs was satisfied with Glens Falls Pride, even before the event got started.
“The rain went away, people are coming in and we’re going to have a good day,” Petrie-Tubbs said, standing in the band shell at Crandall Park early Sunday afternoon. “And look at this list of sponsors. That’s one of the reasons I am so excited.”
Petrie-Tubbs pointed to a sign listing nine sponsors, each of which gave at least $100 to the event, the third in a row held by The Bridge, a local LGBTQ support group.
“We’ve got a lot of local support,” he said. “We had a lot of local businesses come through, and we’re really not out as much as we want to be yet. We need to reach out to the larger community.”
Petrie-Tubbs and his husband Mark went to the Boston Pride parade last weekend.
“I was amazed at the corporate sponsorship there,” he said, holding up a pride flag with TD Bank’s initials on the green portion. “I showed this to the people at TD Bank and they came out today.”
The heavy morning rain scared off a few vendors, but businesses such as the Inn at Erlowest and Underwood Park Crossfit were there.
Easton Mountain, which has long run programs for gay men, was also in attendance. Marketing Manager Freddy Freeman said the resort is reaching out to other communities as well.
“We are trying to appeal to the whole rainbow, all of the LGBTQ community,” he said, noting the facility, which is in Greenwich, will be hosting a Labor Day event called Q-Topia, which is open to all members of the LGBTQ community.
“I think the new generation is going toward diversity and gender expression mixing,” Freeman said.
Petrie-Tubbs said he feels the whole community — LGBTQ and straight — needs to come together, and schools especially need to work on developing allies.
“I think the whole community needs to sponsor events and come together,” he said. “The question is how we get the schools to be more pro-active.”
That’s the expertise of Sunday’s guest speaker, Rick Marchant, co-chair of the board of the Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network’s Capital Region group.
“I think this is a good place to be,” Marchant said. “The Bridge is doing an amazing job of outreach, and Planned Parenthood also does a good job,” he said, noting that GLSEN itself is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Marchant said a number of local schools, including Glens Falls, South Glens Falls, Lake George and Queensbury, all have gay-straight alliances.
“We’ve got a huge collection of resources in the schools up this way,” he said.
While some of the discussions were serious, including between many who were stunned at a reported attack on two gay teens in Lake Luzerne last week, there was plenty of fun during the afternoon, especially the pride parade around the park and a drag-queen performance that capped off the day.