Family-friendly and flamboyant, the Billings PRIDE Festival supports the LGBTQ+ Community by Avi Fox

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

On Saturday, September 11, Billings had its official Pride Festival at North Park.  PRIDE stands for Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence.  With booths from health officials, pagans, kinky sex educators, and churches around Billings, the environment thrived on diversity, geared to LGBTQ+ people, the allies, and the curious.

A line of PRIDE flags, followed by the Montana state flag, flow gently in the wind behind the booths and next to the stage.

A line of PRIDE flags, followed by the Montana state flag, flow gently in the wind behind the booths and next to the stage.

 

A group of three comedians from a comedy club in Billings, act out various forms of charades. Caught in the middle of a dive off the stage during a game of Accents, two of the comedians show their full commitment to the skit they’re acting out.

A group of three comedians from a comedy club in Billings, act out various forms of charades. Caught in the middle of a dive off the stage during a game of Accents, two of the comedians show their full commitment to the skit they’re acting out.

 

 

A group of viewers wait for the family-friendly drag show to begin.

A group of viewers wait for the family-friendly drag show to begin.

Two partners pose for a photo, one of them wearing the trans flag on their waist.

Two partners pose for a photo, one of them wearing the trans flag on their waist.

One of several booths lining the walkways at North Park, this one sports pamphlets and merchandise representing smaller businesses in Billings, including one from "Fursuit" the performing arts scene.

One of several booths lining the walkways at North Park, this one sports pamphlets and merchandise representing smaller businesses in Billings, including one from “Fursuit” the performing arts scene.

 

People of all ages and backgrounds, including the three people pictured above, showed their excitement and stance with Billings PRIDE Festival.

People of all ages and backgrounds, including the three people pictured above, showed their excitement and stance with Billings PRIDE Festival.

 

 

A person in a fursuit poses for a picture, being one of the few representations of the furry community during the Billings PRIDE Festival.

A person in a fursuit poses for a picture, being one of the few representations of the furry community during the Billings PRIDE Festival.

 

Dog 1

Three dogs sport their rainbow colors and happy faces at the Billings PRIDE Festival

Three dogs sport their rainbow colors and happy faces at the Billings PRIDE Festival.

Dog 3

 

A PRIDE attendee dresses in a “TV Head” costume, PRIDE pins, and a trans flag plushie on their waist.

A PRIDE attendee dresses in a “TV Head” costume, PRIDE pins, and a trans flag plushie on their waist.

One of the PRIDE booth organizers sports his “Stonewall Strong” T-shirt while making his rounds through the other booths and directing the Pride attendees.

One of the PRIDE booth organizers sports his “Stonewall Strong” T-shirt while making his rounds through the other booths and directing the Pride attendees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large part of Billings PRIDE was the family-friendly drag show, a free event. All of the drag queens and kings who performed volunteered their time and supplies to be a part of it. While much of it was fun and energetic, a couple of the performances were deeply moving to the audience.  After the show, audience members got selfies, autographs, and for some of them, comfort after getting emotional during the show.

A drag queen post-show

A drag queen pre-show

Two drag kings pose for a photo pre-show before going backstage

Two drag kings pose for a photo pre-show before going backstage

 

The first performance, performed to a fast Hispanic pop song, displayed fast-paced choreography to match.

The first performance, performed to a fast Hispanic pop song, displayed fast-paced choreography to match.

The opening stance for the following act, a slow and powerful performance led by a nonbinary drag king, shows the audience the full scope of the art of drag and its possibilities.

The opening stance for the following act, a slow and powerful performance led by a nonbinary drag king, shows the audience the full scope of the art of drag and its possibilities.

The face of someone in the crowd fast-paced after the drag queen stopped grabbing tips for a moment, to hold a hand.

The face of someone in the crowd after the drag queen stopped grabbing tips for a moment, to hold a hand.

A drag queen described as “Legs, legs legs!” in her introduction, climbs off the stage and walks around the crowd during her performance.

A drag queen described as “Legs, legs legs!” in her introduction, climbs off the stage and walks around the crowd during her performance.

 

During her fast-paced performance, this drag queen climbs off the stage and walks around the crowd, allowing a “larger than life” feel for the audience.

During her fast-paced performance, this drag queen climbs off the stage and walks around the crowd, allowing a “larger than life” feel for the audience.

With her introduction, including her rainbow outfit and high energy, this drag queen shows the audience that crazy moves in high heels are not needed to make a drag performance lovable and exciting.

With her introduction, including her rainbow outfit and high energy, this drag queen shows the audience that crazy moves in high heels are not needed to make a drag performance lovable and exciting.

This drag king proves himself as the heart throb of the day. After whipping his jacket open to show off his recently healed top surgery scars, he did most of his performance off the stage and in the crowd.

This drag king proves himself as the heart throb of the day. After whipping his jacket open to show off his recently healed top surgery scars, he did most of his performance off the stage and in the crowd.

The face of an audience member after they reached their hand out to him, and he in return, held their hand for a brief second, smiled, and continued on with his act.

The face of an audience member after they reached their hand out to him, and he in return, held their hand for a brief second, smiled, and continued on with his act.

This drag queen takes a moment to relaxingly strike a pose during her “Feel Like A Woman” performance, where she would flip her hair, kick off her heels, and make her rounds through the crowd

This drag queen takes a moment to relaxingly strike a pose during her “Feel Like A Woman” performance, where she would flip her hair, kick off her heels, and make her rounds through the crowd.

 

 

One of the last performances of the day, this drag queen shows off her punk and diva style in an intense and exciting routine.

One of the last performances of the day, this drag queen shows off her punk and diva style in an intense and exciting routine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos were taken and captioned by Avi Fox of The Summit staff.

One thought on “Family-friendly and flamboyant, the Billings PRIDE Festival supports the LGBTQ+ Community by Avi Fox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *