During the weekend of October 4th, Des Moines, Iowa held its 30th annual Capital City Pride. This year, for the first time ever, GLAAD was in Des Moines to celebrate and participate in their annual festivities. Though the festival and parade were supposed to take place in June, like many other local Pride celebrations, flooding across the region caused it to be delayed.
As GLAAD’s Central Media Field Strategist, I made the trip down to Iowa. That Friday I got to attend Iowa Pride Network’s Pride Institute, a roundtable style workshop with the leaders of LGBT and ally groups across the state on. Attendees included leaders of statewide LGBT organizations, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, the ACLU of Iowa and the Eyechaner Foundation, as well as leaders in the public health field.
Right before I headed off to discuss LGBT stories with a writer who works for Juice and The Des Moines Register, Iowans got the news that Iowa’s Supreme Court will revisit the marriage case on Dec. 9. What an exciting time for me to be in Iowa! The next day, I conducted a larger-scale Media Essentials workshop to a group of more than 60 activists at One Iowa’s Leadership Summit. The workshop focused on empowering everyday Iowans to be spokespeople for marriage equality. After the workshop, I also discussed interview tips with Sean Fritz and Timothy McQuillan, the only couple that managed to marry last August during the brief window when marriage for gay couples was legal in Iowa. Sunday morning I brought GLAAD banners, brochures, postcards, GLAAD-logo temporary tattoos, and more to the city’s East Village to set up GLAAD’s Pride Festival booth. I visited with hundreds of Iowans at our booth, discussing GLAAD’s powerful work changing hearts and minds, whether it was chatting with folks who had seen the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Bravo or engaging local activists about our work on transgender issues, we had some great conversations and I met some great folks. GLAAD is looking forward to continuing our work with One Iowa, and all of the other LGBT and ally organizations across the state, as the marriage decision comes down in early December.