The Queer Student Union wrapped up its annual Pride Week with a festival spanning Pardall Road on Saturday.
[media-credit id=20124 align=”alignleft” width=”146″][/media-credit]Visitors from the tri-county area flocked to Isla Vista to join the QSU in its first-ever Pride Festiva, held from 3 to 9 p.m. The festivities marked the end of the QSU’s Pride Week, which featured barbeques, mixers, workshops, drag shows and a queer wedding.
Pardall Road — home to the main stretch of shops in I.V. — saw local organizations, musicians, comedians, drag queens and a DJ pass by throughout the afternoon.
QSU Political Chair Joel Mandujano said the festival provided the queer community with added visibility in I.V.
“This event is a statement,” Mandujano said. “We’re here and we’re queer and we deserve to celebrate ourselves and our identities.”
QSU Co-Chair Hazel Putney said the I.V. Pride Festival aimed to tackle issues connected with hate incidents in the local area.
“In the past couple of years violent hate crimes have been committed not by visitors, but by Isla Vista residents,” Putney said. “This demonstrated that events on campus just aren’t enough. The I.V. Festival allows us to reach out to Isla Vista and our community as a whole.”
Gary Clark, chair of the Strategic Alliance for Marriage Equality, said he has seen significant progress for the queer movement at universities over the past several years.
“I think that Proposition 8 pulled a lot of people out of the woodwork to get involved in making a difference,” Clark said. “I have noticed that there has been a lot of dialogue between campus groups and community
organizations — definitely a lot more than there used to be.”
Photos from Pride Week:
Other festival attendees also noted the festival’s positive atmosphere.
“I’m really excited that UCSB would have such an event,” Kane Anderson, a second-year graduate student in theatre said. “My [undergraduate] university didn’t do this. I think it really gives visibility to people on campus that otherwise wouldn’t be seen.”
Sapir Ohayon, a first-year Business Economics major, said the event allowed festival-goers to show support for their peers.
“I’m proud to go to such a liberal school like UCSB where people can freely express themselves and show their pride,” Ohayon said.
Video Coverage of the Pardall Fair: