Starkville Pride is the LGBTQ pride organization serving Starkville, MS and the entire Golden Triangle area, including the campus of Mississippi State University. In addition to the annual Pride Weekend organized by the group, our mission is to celebrate, educate, and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied people throughout the state of Mississippi while working for inclusion for all. All funds raised for Starkville Pride are used toward that mission, and all members volunteer their time and efforts.
In Spring of 2018 Bailey McDaniel and Emily Turner, soon to be graduates of Mississippi State University, applied for a permit for a Pride parade from the Starkville Board of Aldermen. The request was taken off of consent for the meeting it would be presented at and then, in a 4-3 vote, that request was denied. Bailey, Emily, their fellow organizers, and Starkville's community were devastated.
But the greater public, you, were on our side. In a landslide of positivity and hope, the LGBTQ+ community in all corners of America spoke out against the unjust and unexplained decision. News outlets from the Starkville Dispatch to the New York Times covered our story and reached out. We were flooded with support in the form of sponsors, volunteers, community organizer assistance, legal action, and more.
Since then, we have been committed to increasing the public awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in the Starkville and Golden Triangle community with our yearly Pride Fest, work with our local officials, and collaborations with local businesses. In the future, we hope to expand into open discussions, fundraisers, and bringing drag and queer culture to our little corner of the world!