Medford Pride Press Release
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 22nd, 2023
Medford Celebrates 2nd Annual Inclusive Pride Event
Contact: Riki Rosenthall
2nd Annual Medford Pride is Saturday, June 24th
Location: Pear Blossom Park, 312 E 4th Street, Downtown Medford
Date and Time: Saturday, June 24th from 12pm – 6pm
Medford, Oregon – This Saturday, community members celebrate Pride in Downtown Medford. The free, family friendly event opens at noon and runs until 6pm with food trucks, live stage performances, activities and booths from 85 local businesses and organizations.
The goal of Medford Pride 2023 is to celebrate the diversity of the local Queer community and the people, businesses, community groups, and faith communities who support and uplift us. This year’s celebrations are more important than ever in the face of alarming threats to the LGBTQ+ community.
“Its life saving for queer people to be in community, says volunteer Stage Co-Director Payton. Especially for young folks who haven’t seen themselves reflected in those that society idealizes, seeing queer adults happy, thriving, and celebrating who they are is validating in a way that nothing else can provide. Seeing queer people be unapologetically, authentically themselves changed my life, and it’s an honor to have a hand in providing a space for queer celebration in the Rogue Valley,”
Citing recent data on attacks on LGBTQ+ people, the Human Rights Campaign just declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ people in the US. While 2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender-nonconforming people in the U.S, the number of new attempts to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people have more than doubled in the last year. The rise in anti-LGBTQ bills filed in state legislatures across the country is another factor undermining the health and sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ people. As of June 6th, at least 525 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in 41 states across the country.
For volunteer planning committee chair Riki Rosenthall, this all leads back to the importance of local celebration: "It’s more important than ever to hold this celebration here in Medford to show our youth that we are still fighting for their rights, and their ability to be out and safe as themselves in their own community.”
Medford Pride is organized by the LGBTQ+ Equity Workgroup, a community-led, cross sector workgroup hosted by SO Health-E, the Southern Oregon Health Equity Coalition. The group works to promote unity, inclusion, awareness and a sense of broad community for Queer individuals, families, and allies.