Local teen plans Pride march for Sunday | SummitDaily.com

Local teen plans Pride march for Sunday

Activists walk in Dillon with Pride flags during the intersectionality march June 25, 2020. This year, a Pride march is happening at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 27, in Frisco.
Photo from Emily Carisch

For many individuals, the month of June marks a designated time period when those who are often discriminated against feel acknowledged, accepted and seen.

This year, one Summit High School senior is planning a Pride month march to celebrate all forms of love.

In addition to participating on the swim team and in theater, Emily Carisch is heavily involved in the Gay Straight Alliance club at Summit High School, otherwise known as the Student Equality Alliance. Carisch, who identifies as queer, said the club has given her and other students a safe, accepting atmosphere where they not only feel comfortable to be themselves but also have opportunities to participate in local activism.

Carisch said she was inspired by the intersectionality march hosted last summer by Summit High graduate Anna Vaine.

“I wanted to do something like that this year, but I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off,” Carisch said.

It wasn’t until a friend of Carisch’s came to her wanting to raise money for a sex reassignment surgery that the event gained traction. Not only would the march raise awareness about the LGBTQ community and celebrate love but it would also help support a transgender local, she said.

In a matter of weeks, Carisch recruited her friends and mentors to help coordinate the march, which is taking place at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 27, along Frisco’s Main Street. The team secured the necessary permits and worked with the county so community members could walk from Fifth Avenue along Main Street to the Frisco Historic Park & Museum.

After the short walk, a few local speakers will present about what Pride means to them. Vaine will be among the speakers.

Vaine, who identifies as pansexual, graduated from Summit High in 2020. During her junior year, she helped launch the Student Equality Alliance, and she led the charge in organizing the intersectionality march last summer.

“We wanted to do a couple things,” Vaine said. “We wanted to recognize that it was Pride month and … give queer people an outlet to celebrate and to participate in activism in Summit County.

“We also wanted to make our activism more accessible to other groups of people. … We spoke about racism in the context of Black Lives Matter but also in the context of Summit County and how racism affects our Latino population here.”

Vaine added that event organizers also wanted to draw attention to Black trans women who have been killed.

“That was where the intersectionality piece came in,” she said. “We wanted (people) to see that these incredibly marginalized people — these Black, trans, queer women of color — were being killed, and they were not being represented in the media, so we wanted to draw attention to them.”

This year, Vaine said she expects Carisch’s march to be even more successful than the event last year, when the march drew about 50 people. This year, thanks to a new Instagram account and local businesses allowing her to hang up flyers in their public spaces, Carisch said she expects about 100 people to attend the march.

“We got such a positive response from small business owners and people reaching out over Instagram and Facebook who are like, ‘Hey, do you need any help? I’m free all week and can help out,’” Carisch said. “People want this to happen — just no one’s taken the steps. … It’s just a matter of setting a date.”

Once the speakers wrap up their presentations, Carisch said she and her team will hand out stickers. If community members are wearing those stickers, she said they’ll receive a 10% discount at the Log Cabin Cafe in Frisco.

In addition to handing out flyers, the event has been posted in the Summit Together Facebook group, a group that supports diversity and equity in Summit County. One community member who already plans to attend the march is Dillon resident Daniel Garcia.

Garcia said events like these, especially celebrations within Pride month, show the LGBTQ community that it is recognized and that others acknowledge the hardships and trauma members of the group have experienced.

“Sure, it’s a celebration that we can all be out, but there needs to be acknowledgment and a grieving of all the deaths and all the harm that has been caused, and is still being caused,” Garcia said.

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