Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2019 12am

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    Friday, July 19, 2019-7:59:55P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI prepares for PRIDE

THIS year’s PRIDE festivities are going to be bigger than ever.

The public events begin on Friday, June 21, with the CNMI’s first ever youth PRIDE walk at 2 p.m. beginning at the Carolinian Utt. The walk is being organized by PRIDE Marianas-Youth in partnership with the Division of Youth Services, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, and the Office of Youth Affairs.

The first hour will be devoted to sign-making and face painting, followed by a march to Paseo De Marianas, where the 2019 Pacific Century Fellows Marianas Chapter will hold a proclamation at 5 p.m. and unveil a new rainbow crosswalk stretching from Fiesta Resort & Spa to Paseo De Marianas.

“We have members of the LGBTQ+ community in our class and we want to support them, we want to support families,” said Rep. Sheila Babauta, a member of the PCF Class of 2019. “We all know someone in our community who is LGBTQ+ so we want to spread awareness, education, and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ members of our community and we’re really excited.”

Saipan’s new rainbow crosswalk will be the first in the Marianas, and some PCF members even claimed it may be the first in the Pacific. After its unveiling, the celebration will convert into a pub crawl through Garapan.

Farah Castro Younis

The following week, on Thursday, June 27, the Northern Marianas Humanities Council will host Pride Talks; a free screening of “Boy Erased” at 4 p.m. followed by a panel discussion at Regal Cinemas.

According to Farah Younis, program officer for the Humanities Council, she approached Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez about attending the event.

“I told him about the Pride Talks event on Thursday and how we would like someone from the Catholic Church to state their position or even do a little presentation,” she said. “He was very excited. Unfortunately, since he won’t be on island, he will be assigning someone else to do it.”

She added that Pride Talks would be the NMHC’s first ever event thrown specifically to support the LGBTQ+ community.

“We are trying to target a lot of our under-served demographics and the LGBTQ community is one of them… it’s important to raise awareness, garner support, and encourage those who might not think they have a lot of support — we just want to show them that they do.”