Move over, Atlanta pride celebrations. There's one more festival making room for inclusion. Southern Fried Queer Pride continues through the Memorial Weekend holiday.
The event, which opened Tuesday, provides a platform for queer and trans people of color. And in addition to providing events across five days, Southern Friend Queer Pride is also an advocacy group and arts organization with year-round programming.
The group's largest event is the annual festival of the same name, which is entering its third year. Queer Pride offers an expanded slate of events that range from performance art showcases and gallery exhibitions to workshops to dance parties. It runs through Saturday.
For more about this year’s events, and the history behind Southern Fried Queer Pride, we spoke with Taylor Alxndr, a SFQP creator and organizer.
What is Southern Fried Queer Pride?
Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP) is a queer and trans, arts and advocacy organization and festival based here in Atlanta. We celebrate the power of Southern queer art and activism through events like our annual festival, monthly functions like music nights and workshops, and more. We're all about building Southern queer communities and making intentional spaces where the most marginalized are heard and valued.
What's going on this year for Southern Fried Queer Pride?
There's a lot! It's our first year of having more than three days of activities. This year's fest is five days of workshops, parties, discussion groups and more. We have Queer Qumbia, a queer Latinx social; the Jewel Box, a trans resilience event; Digital Queerness, our first gallery show; a critique of black porn; our annual Hawt Sauce dance party; workshops and artist market; and our special Sweet Tea queer variety show that closes out the festival.
How did Southern Fried Queer Pride get its start?
SFQP began because we saw a lack of space for queer and trans people of color, specifically in Atlanta, to celebrate art and community. A lot of events and spaces are whitewashed and don't dabble in anything radical, communal or political. We decided to create that space – a space where art and social justice meet and build community for the more marginalized. That led to a festival and us becoming a full-fledged organization.
How is it different from Atlanta Pride, Stonewall in June and Black Pride?
We're completely grassroots – we’re organized by, built by and serve the community. Sometimes organizations are afraid to tread radical waters, but that's our center focus and we do so with the intent to build communities and conversations. If we're not serving the community and the most marginalized in it, what's our purpose? We create platforms for local and regionally Southern artists and movement builders. We're not afraid to start conversations, like in our Southern Fried Forum events where we've had discussions on racism in the queer community, and so on. While the festival is our major event, we're a fully active organization year-round. We do a lot because the community needs a lot.
Why is Southern Fried Queer Pride important for LGBTQ Atlanta?
SFQP is the extra flavor the community has been missing and we intend continuing to cook up more dishes that people didn't know they needed! We bring something fresh, intersectional, and homegrown to the table!