top of page
Search

CACTC at Cortland's First Pride

Amidst the vibrant colors, laughter, sense of positivity, CACTC had the honor and privilege to be a part of Cortland’s first-ever Pride, organized by The Cortland LGBTQ Center . The day was marked with a celebration of love, acceptance, and inclusivity as the community came together to embrace the diversity that lives in Cortland. This celebration holds even greater significance when we consider our recent youth data that highlights the LGBQ+ and transgender populations within our community.


In the 2022 Youth development Survey, 24% of 7-12th graders self-identified as LGBQ+ and 9% self-identified as transgender and questioning. Our survey provides us with an understanding of the presence and importance of LGBTQ+ individuals right here in Cortland. This data also recognizes the support challenges faced by our LGBQ+ and transgender youth. Cortland teens who identify as LGBQ+ or transgender were less likely to feel close to either parent, while being more likely to report depressive symptoms compared to straight or cisgender teens. Recognizing the importance of this inaugural Pride, we understood that it marked a bigger step towards nurturing a more accepting environment, benefiting not only our youth but all LGBTQ+ individuals in Cortland County. CACTC proudly joined the event, immersing ourselves, offering Narcan trainings, and engaging in impactful conversations within our cherished community.


In the 2022 Youth development Survey, 24% of 7-12th graders self-identified as LGBQ+ and 9% self-identified as transgender and questioning. Our survey provides us with an understanding of the presence and importance of LGBTQ+ individuals right here in Cortland. This data also recognizes the support challenges faced by our LGBQ+ and transgender youth. Cortland teens who identify as LGBQ+ or transgender were less likely to feel close to either parent, while being more likely to report depressive symptoms compared to straight or cisgender teens. Recognizing the importance of this inaugural Pride, we understood that it marked a bigger step towards nurturing a more accepting environment, benefiting not only our youth but all LGBTQ+ individuals in Cortland County. CACTC proudly joined the event, immersing ourselves, offering narcan trainings, and engaging in impactful conversations within our cherished community.

Summer, one of our Epidemiologists, arrived early at the event with their partner to get a headstart on the vendors, workshops, and the fun to be had that day. “I couldn’t stop smiling all day, my face hurt so much when I got home!””, Summer laughed. “You can really tell what this means to the community too. What I see most out of my time here are reunions. People are yelling and booking across the lawn, to wrap someone in a bear hug. You keep hearing it everywhere, people being happy to see each other happy.” Another staff member, Claudia the Graphic Designer for CACTC, was there for a mix of fun and business. “I went to help my friend set up their booth, and had a great day being able to be with my friends. I couldn’t help but get caught up in the positivity!”. Claudia was helping a friend table for their business, one of many of the queer-owned businesses that lined the sidewalks of the park. Vendors selling stickers, flags, arts, and crafts were just some of the vendors that attended Pride. They were not alone as many community organizations, such as Seven Valleys Health Coalition, SPCA, Access to Independence, CAPCO, and others came to celebrate the day!

As mentioned, there were also workshops being held at the Cortland Free Library, just for this event! Aster Parrott, the Community Engagement Coordinator, and Erin Valley gave the “Self-Care While Disabled and Queer” workshop. Both brought attention to the barriers and challenges to self-care, while highlighting the interconnectedness of the two identities, promoting self-acceptance and built community. While Aster enjoyed being able to give such a talk, they were completely overcome by the view outside. “I was so busy setting up that I didn’t see the crowd gather in the park. When I finally got outside and saw the crowd, I started crying. I never thought I could see this here.”


One of the biggest jewels of the event were the four stunning drag queens of Ithaca: Noah Phence, Queen Tessential, Femme De Violette, and Saylix Morrison. The queens took to the stage with generous applause and began striking glamorous poses to songs from Hercules, Cinderella, Patti Labelle, and even some Broadway tunes. Femme de Violette had the crowd in stitches with her Cookie Monster Rendition of a Broadway Classic, while Salyix Morrison captivated us with their out-of-this-world moves. Quick witted Noah Phence signed the ABCs for us, and Queen Tessitial gave grace, beauty, and Judy Garland. What do our staff hope for Pride next year? Mainly to go again! “This feels like another step of ‘hey, let’s build a community’ and it’s been amazing to watch this grow”, said Claudia. “It was a lot, but it was a lot of good. We laughed, we cried so much, and it was the best”, remarked Aster. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow came on, and I lost it. It’s not something far away anymore, the other side of the rainbow was right there.”, reflected Summer. For the first Pride our staff attended, they couldn’t be more proud to have gone.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page