By Tiffany J. Harris
PRIDEFEST 2012 is back and ready to spread awareness to the community about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. The week kicked off last night at Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee for ” Colors of Faith: an Interfaith Celebration of Pride” event.
This is the fifth consecutive year, for this particular event where local churches and other faith organizations will hold an interfaith service for Tallahassee PRIDEFEST. The theme of this year’s event is “Radical Inclusion.”
LGBT individuals in Tallahassee are fortunate to have a growing number of places in which to find an open and affirming spiritual home. Tallahassee PRIDEFEST is an annual celebration of the rich diversity of the greater Tallahassee area.
” We have been pleased to have a large number of faith groups who are open and affirming of LGBT individuals,” said Steven Hall, the chair of The Family Tree Center. ” A form of interfaith service has been a part of PRIDEFEST for a long time.”
About 10 different churches and religious groups from Buddhist to Quakers came out to show their support of the LGBT community.
” The heart of the matter of interfaith celebration of pride is a way of affirming that there are spiritual homes for the LGBT community,” said Diana Kampert, the event coordinator.
The night started with ” gathering music” leading people to their seats to start the opening words from Rev. Robin Gray and Carl Sherrod from the host church. Speaking on hospitality to others.
Florida A&M LGBT Student Pride Union, President Tia Gilmore spoke about her own personal relationship with God and how she’s always kept her faith since she was younger. Gilmore also spoke on the fact that she’s happy that the there are churches here in Tallahassee that welcome people from the LGBT community.
” My relationship with God has molded me on who I am today,” said Gilmore,” If someone tried to challenge my relationship with God it would effect me negatively.”
Vicki Herlovich , Unity Eastside music director, performed two of her songs ” So Much More” and ” We Still Have Love” one with guitar and the other with the piano.
” My favorite part of the event was seeing all the different religious groups come together,” said Philana Ransome, a 20-year-old psychology student from Tampa, ” It was definitely something new and different but heartfelt for the LGBT community.”
The night ended with Litany, Prayers of Inclusion from Susan Gage from St. John’s Episcopal Church and Rev. Phoebe McFarlin from Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Carrabelle.
Leading into the reception out on the veranda where food and drinks were served to guest.
“Inspirational events like this that promote acceptance, not tolerance, is a bright indication of more humanity themed unions around the world,” said Ana Sanz, a 18-year-old fine art student from Miami,” Whether it be religion, race or sexual orientation.”
This was the first event of the week leading up to the big event on Saturday, April 21 at Kleman Plaza. For more information on events and tickets visit their website at