Members of Lawrence’s LGBTQ+ community in 2017 began having small meetings and celebrations with the goal of providing everyone with a safe and welcoming space. They laid the groundwork for Lawrence PRIDE to do just that.
The group recently expanded to become a nonprofit, allowing the organization to use additional funding resources and host more community events.
Cody Murray, director of Lawrence PRIDE, said in an email that becoming a nonprofit was an essential prerequisite to receiving some of the grants needed to host larger events.
“Eventually, we are hoping to branch out to a lot more different events for the youth, and other groups within the LGBTQ community,” Murray wrote.
The organization also hopes to obtain an office space sometime in the next few years. Until then, members of the new PRIDE Board will work closely with local groups and businesses to make Lawrence a more inclusive place.
Additionally, PRIDE will host several events throughout the year, including film screenings, the annual parade, drag shows and the upcoming Valentine’s Day-themed Queer Prom.
The 18+ prom will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 at Arterra Event Gallery, 2161 Quail Creek Drive in Lawrence. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance, or $25 at the door.
According to a news release from the organization, the night will be filled with dancing, drag performances and a silent auction with prizes donated by local businesses. Attendees will also have access to a photo area and cash bar.
All proceeds from the prom will go toward raising funds for more PRIDE events. Anyone wishing to help the organization without breaking out their dancing shoes may do so by donating at this link.
“Our goal is to bring people together, raise awareness, and make a positive impact on the lives of those who need it,” Murray said in the release.
To learn more about Lawrence PRIDE and stay engaged with upcoming events, visit this link.
If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters
Chloe Anderson (she/her) contributed to The Lawrence Times from August 2022 through May 2023. She is also published in Climbing magazine, Kansas Reflector and Sharp End Publishing. As a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, Chloe plans to continue her career in photography, rock climbing and writing somewhere out West.
You can view her portfolio, articles and commissioned work here. Check out more of her work for the Times here.