Hanging out at Black and Brown LGBTQ Pride in Oakland
Hundreds of men and women gathered at Lake Merritt earlier this month for the Second Annual Oakland Black and Brown LGBT Pride.
San Francisco-born Michelle Mitchell founded the event because there were no other black and Brown prides in Northern California.
“I wanted to create a time of the year where LGBTQ people of color could come together, talk, network, etc.," Mitchell said of the Aug. 7 event. "I realize as a more masculine-identified black lesbian, that there are cultural and social differences between our community and that of our Caucasian sisters and brothers. I know that all of our issues are not the same. We are dealing with a wide range of different prejudices and biased attitudes. This is a time where our community can identify our challenges and help one another.
"Everyone is welcome regardless of race, however we specifically discuss issues that concern our specific community,” Mitchell added.
Mitchell said she hope Oakland Black and Brown LGBTQ Pride Weekend changes the way Prides are celebrated.
"We are making our weekend more about creating change, opening the channels of communication and celebrating our diversity," she said. "I want people to know that we are more than a community that likes to party. We have businesses, families with children and resources to share. We make Oakland a diverse and vibrant city."
Organizers have already started planning for next year's celebration.