Uniting Pride, the only LGBTQ+ resource center for people in CU, has collaborated with NOLA’s, a local rock bar that programs events for the community, for POP, an official Pride pre-party for Pride Month celebrations .
Pamela Wakefield is the General Manager of NOLA’s Rock Bar and is responsible for booking shows, managing the bar and designing the menu. She said NOLA is a New Orleans and Cajun themed bar.
Wakefield said NOLA hosts events six nights a week, including but not limited to Latin Dance on Wednesdays, Jazz Hour on Fridays, and Bar Olympics on Tuesdays. Much like how NOLA is jam-packed with events all week, the pre-Pride party will be full of exciting things.
“Oh my, tons and tons and tons of fun,” Wakefield said. “We have several trade-related shows going on that day. So at 6:00 p.m. on Sundays, we have our youth show, then at 7:00 p.m., we have a What’s up Cis show. At 9 p.m. we have a King show, then at 11 p.m. we have our Queen show.
She said that as a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community, she looks forward to the Queens show as she is a fan of many Queens performing on the pre-party.
“My favorite part of the event is just providing a safe space for everyone to feel like they can come in and know they will be accepted no matter their sexual orientation, whatever it is, here at NOLA we let’s accept everyone,” she said.
Wakefield advised customers to come early as NOLA quickly ran out of places last year.
“There are so many events and so many great artists coming this weekend,” she said. “It’s going to be a show you definitely don’t want to miss.”
Nicole Frydman, operations manager at Uniting Pride, said she was really excited about the pre-Pride party. Uniting Pride is a non-profit organization working to make the CU community a more assertive and safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community,
Frydman said CU doesn’t have dedicated LGBTQ+ bars located for the community, but instead a few local businesses have become safe places and spaces for everyone.
“What happened instead was a couple of businesses in the community opened up to us in a lovely way,” she said.
NOLA is one of the companies that contacted Uniting Pride. Frydman said that because the venue has a lineup of dragsters every first Sunday of the month, he wanted to throw a Pride Month party, which Frydman said delighted the staff at Uniting Pride.
“As for what we bring to the table,” she said, “we’re going to be bringing coloring pages for the kids, and we have a special unicorn, Rainbow Unicorn, who will be there as well.”
Frydman said there will be pride flags, stickers, shirts and all sorts of goodies up for grabs at the event. She added that the pre-Pride party that was held last summer was a success, but this event will be the biggest yet as it will last longer.
She said it was important for businesses and organizations to want to help create safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community.
“The reality is that we still need spaces,” Frydman said, “LGBTQ+ people still need spaces where we know we’re safe together, we know we’re welcomed and affirmed, that people people who are not members of the LGBTQ+ community who join us there are truly our allies and are there to keep the space safe for us.
She said she’s thrilled it’s the first Pride event of the month where the CU community can come together to celebrate.
“It has a significant impact on the mental health of the LGBTQ+ community,” she said. “Knowing that we can be even a small part of creating this for people is hugely rewarding and a huge part of the work we do.”
Frydman said the event is free for people to attend, but it does provide guidance for artists who put in the hard work, time and energy to make the event a great one.
“Come for free, but be sure to show the artists the love they deserve,” she said.