• History | Herstory | Theirstory | OUR Story

  • 28 June 1969

    Stonewall: The reason for the season

    Stonewall Uprising While protests, lawsuits, and other civic action had taken place prior to Stonewall, the riots at that NYC bar in 1969 helped super charge our efforts to secure LGBTQ rights and visibility. The spontaneous actions of those brave individuals over the next few nights became motivation for future pride marches, festivals, and stepping out of closets worldwide. Thank you to Stonewall and thank you for keeping the fight for equality going. Stonewall Uprising
  • 2021
  • 25 February

    Remembering Jerry Chance

    Jerry Chance

    Augusta Pride would like to pause in a moment of gratitude for the life of Jerry Chance. In our earliest beginnings, Jerry and his partner Richard Kelnhofer helped develop the distribution of Pride's merchandise, being our store managers for the first half of our festivals.

    Jerry was a beloved figure in our community. Originally from Bartow, Georgia, Jerry's long and fruitful life witnessed many of the seminal events in LGBT history - the AIDS epidemic, the rise of the Pride Movement and the quest for benchmarks of equality such as marriage and an end to discrimination. Jerry's gentle spirit and open heart were a beacon to others that a life as a successful businessman, a happy husband and respected member of the community were all possible, even in the quiet parts of Georgia.

    We are thankful for everything Jerry brought to Augusta Pride and our thoughts are with his partner Richard and his enormous family of friends and admirers as they mourn the transition of one who was a friend to all of us. May his memory be a blessing.

  • 2020
  • 27 August

    Remembering Richard Justice

    Richard Justice

    It breaks the heart of Augusta Pride to share that today we have lost our muse. Richard Justice, coordinator of Pride’s entertainment since 2013, departed this life this afternoon after a battle with COVID-19. Richard joined Augusta Pride’s Board of Directors in 2013 as the Director of Entertainment from an extensive, successful career in arts and theatre in the CSRA and beyond. He had a 20+ year history as performer and director with The Augusta Players and the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, was a founder of Le Chat Noir Theatre and the creator of the Mind’s Eye Academy, a theater education program for children and young adults. He was the manager and creative vision behind the Capri Lounge, Augusta’s classiest gay bar with live music and entertainment. His loss is a wound to our entire community.

    Richard’s contributions to Pride are enormous in scope. He conceptualized the VIP program before even joining the board and was the chief proponent of the Augusta Common as the venue, defining our physical presence for over a decade. Once he joined the Board, his was the primary creative mind behind Beats on Broad, Augusta Pride’s phenomenally successful outdoor dance party. He was a galvanizing figure in our community, attracting top local talent to run our event and grace our stage. His vision shaped our President’s Soiree from the venue to the catering to the décor. It is difficult to conceive what Pride would have ever been without the powerful creative talents of Richard Justice.

    Perhaps most importantly, Richard shared in the fundamental vision that drives the Augusta Pride organization – that all of us deserve to live in a world free of prejudice, rejection or the judgement of others, that all of us are truly equal in the eyes of God. As a worker at the Boston to New York AIDSRide in the 1990’s, as a tireless supporter of Pride everywhere and as a recent participant in demonstrations to insist that Black Lives Matter, Richard lived the very heart of Augusta Pride’s message of equality, inclusion and love. It now falls to us to see that the world Richard so strongly believed in becomes ever more true.

    Augusta Pride joins our entire community in mourning this incredible individual and send our undying love to his family, friends and husband of 25 years, Terence Leegan. May his memory live in our hearts forever.

  • 1 May

    Augusta Pride Cancels 2020 Festival and Parade

    The Augusta Pride Committee made the decision to cancel our planned Festival for June 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns.

    Thank You!

    We thank you all for your past support of our Festival. Last year, we had our largest Festival event yet and had hoped to keep the energy and excitement going this year. While we’re having a brief interruption, we know we’ll come back again together. Until then, please stay safe and healthy and Love Still Wins!

  • 27 January

    Remembering Lt. J.R. Compton

    Lt. J R Compton

    Augusta Pride would like to pause in a moment of united grief at the loss of Lt. James R. (“J.R.”) Compton with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Compton passed from this life into the next this morning of natural causes. Those of us who founded and who have led Augusta Pride would like to share our memories of a good, good man many of us have come to consider our friend.

    It would be difficult to overstate the impact that J.R. had on the formation and growth of Augusta Pride. During the organization of our first event in 2010, his deep well of experience shaped many aspects of the festival we enjoy today – the formation of the parade, the layout of the Common, the organization of security and the distribution of alcohol. He personally took charge of the key aspects of festival security on game day and the opening vehicle that led us down Broad Street was always him. Over the decade of our partnership with RCSO, J.R. saved Pride thousands of dollars by pointing our inefficiencies or correcting our mistaken assumptions about how to manage thousands of people on a hot summer day intent on having a good time. It seems impossible that Pride would have ever run as smoothly as it has without J.R.

    Perhaps most importantly we remember J.R.’s kindness and integrity as an officer of the law in whom we could explicitly trust. Many factions in our community would have supported J.R. had he chosen to do the minimum, help the least or any way discourage the success that Pride has enjoyed in its first decade. Yet J.R. never hesitated to make us feel safe, to see us treated fairly and to defend us when we did things right. During the first year, a media representative approached J.R., looking for a sounds byte to juice up the reporting on our festival. J.R. told them it was the smoothest launch he had ever seen, that it was the first festival our size that had come off without one major glitch and that he was impressed at how people had stayed for our event compared to others. His demeanor set the tone for every media interaction since and our press has done nothing but grow more positive.

    As J.R. headed for retirement, we were looking forward to honoring our relationship with him at this year’s President’s Soiree for a job so very well done. How much it hurts that we must share our memories like this. Augusta Pride sends its love, its condolences and its undying gratitude for the life of J.R. Compton to his family and his fellow officers of the RCSO. We look forward to continuing his legacy of cooperation as we grow into the future.

  • 2019
  • 21-22 June

    Tenth Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2019: 10 Years
    Dr. Cheryl Newman, 2019 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Dr. Cheryl Newman

    Ms. Augusta Pride 2019, Naomi Starr Van Michaels

    Ms. Augusta Pride, Naomi Starr Van Michaels

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2019, Austain St. James

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Austin St. James

  • 2018
  • 22-23 June

    Ninth Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2018: We Are the People
    Sean and Jennifer Rahner, 2018 Augusta Pride Grand Marshals

    Grand Marshals, Sean and Jennifer Rahner

    Rowan Feldhaus, 2018 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Rowan Feldhaus represented by his mother Melissa

    Ms. and Mr. Augusta Pride 2018, Petite Dejonville and Nytes Deville

    Ms. and Mr. Augusta Pride, Petite Dejonville and Nytes Deville

  • 2017
  • 23-24 June

    Eighth Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2017: Love Will Change the World
    Sisters of the Order of Saint Helena, 2017 Augusta Pride Grand Marshals

    Grand Marshals, the Sisters of the Order of Saint Helena

    Harold V. Jones II, 2017 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Harold V. Jones II

    Ms. Augusta Pride 2017, Koko Dove

    Ms. Augusta Pride, Koko Dove

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2017, Ameilio Vaughn Monroe

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Ameilio Vaughn Monroe

  • 2016
  • 24-25 June

    Seventh Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2016: Free to Be Me
    Leonard Zimmerman, 2016 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Leonard Zimmerman

    Roy Lewis and Jeff Pullium, 2016 Augusta Pride Grand Marshals

    Grand Marshals, Roy Lewis and Jeff Pullium

    Ms. Augusta Pride 2016, Claire Storm

    Ms. Augusta Pride, Claire Storm

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2016, Kingston von Monroe

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Kingston von Monroe

    Augusta Pride 2016 Headliners: Cece Peniston, David Hernandez, and Lazaro
  • 2015
  • 26-27 June

    Sixth Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2015: Live Out Proud
    Dr. Ann Willbrand, 2015 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Dr. Ann Willbrand

    Dr. Peter Rissing, 2015 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Dr. Peter Rissing

    Ms. Augusta Pride 2015, Paula Sinclair

    Ms. Augusta Pride, Paula Sinclair

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2015, Alistar Fox

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Alistar Fox

    2015 Headliners: Maxine Nightingale, David Hernandez, Bebe Zahara Benet, Victoria Porkchop
  • 2014
  • 27-28 June

    Fifth Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2014: Every One Loves Augusta Pride 2014: Every One Loves
    Joey Styron and Bryan Boden, 2014 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshals, Joey Styron and Bryan Boden

    Lisa Heilig, 2014 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Lisa Heilig

    Ms. Augusta Pride 2014, Vonnajae Couture

    Ms. Augusta Pride, Vonnajae Couture

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2014, Orlando Boom

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Orlando Boom

  • 2013
  • 21-22 June

    Fourth Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2013: Proud 365
    Francis Williams, 2013 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Francis Williams

    Rita Miller, 2013 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Rita Miller

    Sam Wilson, 2013 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Sam Wilson

    David Hensely, 2013 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, David Hensely

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2013, Hayden Lowe and Ms. Augusta Pride 2013, Malaysia Black

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Hayden Lowe and Ms. Augusta Pride, Malaysia Black

  • 2012
  • 23 June

    Third Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2012: It's Time
    Augusta Pride Stage 2012
    Mr. Augusta Pride 2012, Prince William and Ms. Augusta Pride 2012, Sasha Greene

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Prince William and Ms. Augusta Pride, Sasha Greene

  • 2011
  • 25 June

    Second Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2011: City Scape Augusta Pride 2011: Love Wins
    Deborah Ivins, 2011 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Deborah Ivins

    Keith Buck, 2011 Augusta Pride Grand Marshal

    Grand Marshal, Keith Buck

    Ms. Augusta Pride 2011, Evonne Santoni

    Ms. Augusta Pride, Evonne Santoni

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2011, King Stacy

    Mr. Augusta Pride, King Stacy

  • 2010
  • 19 June

    Thousands celebrate in Augusta’s first pride parade

    Diversity was everywhere Saturday morning as hundreds of people brought their opinions, messages and lifestyles to downtown Augusta.

    Augusta Pride Inc.’s president, Isaac Kelly, placed the number of people in the parade and enjoying the events on the Augusta Common throughout the day at 3,500.

    - Augusta Chronicle

  • 19 June

    First Parade & Festival produced by the Augusta Pride Committee

    Augusta Pride 2010: Banner Augusta Pride 2010: Got Pride?
    Isaac Kelly and Johnathan Shaw lead the parade

    Isaac Kelly and Johnathan Shaw lead the parade.

    Ms. Augusta Pride 2010, Lady La'Poodle

    Ms. Augusta Pride, Lady La'Poodle

    Mr. Augusta Pride 2010, Mike Oxbig

    Mr. Augusta Pride, Mike Oxbig

  • 15 February

    Gay Pride Parade in Downtown Augusta Georgia

  • 2009
  • 15 April

    Organizing Meeting/ Founders Day

    The first meeting (since 1991) for people answering a call to organize a Pride observance in Augusta was held April 15, 2009 at The Filling Station. Isaac Kelly was nominated as the first president of the new Augusta Pride Committee. 501c(3) non-profit status was approved for Augusta Pride, Inc. on December 17, 2009. Augusta Pride Founders The founding Board of Directors lead the Augusta Pride Committee to produce it's first Pride Parade and Festival: Chris Bannochie, David Stepp, Alan Braden. Travis Jenkins, Isaac Kelly, Queen LaTeefah Hayes, Bryan Boden, Joey Styron; not pictured - Jimmy Key, Tim Steedly, and Stan Cassels.
  • 1991
  • 29 June

    Pride March

  • 1978
  • 25 June

    Rainbow Flag

    Gilbert Baker (June 2, 1951 – March 31, 2017) an American artist and gay rights activist designed the rainbow flag, a worldwide symbol of LGBTQ pride. The original gay pride flag flew at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration on June 25, 1978.
  • 1969
  • 28 June 1969

    Stonewall

    Stonewall Uprising

    On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, found itself the center of a series of violent demonstrations focused on a police raid. Police raids on bars catering to homosexuals were frequent. During a typical raid, the lights would be turned on; the customers would be lined up; and their identification cards would be checked. Those without identification or who were dressed in full drag were arrested; others were allowed to leave. Some of the men, including those in drag, used their draft cards as identification. Women were required to wear three pieces of feminine clothing and would be arrested if found not wearing them. Employees and management of the bars were also typically arrested. At that time in the United States, the legal situation of gays arrested for being homosexual is that they could be fined and serve jail time.

    That summer night, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn had taken enough abuse from the police who had come to raid the bar. Mobs formed and overturned cars, set the arrested loose, and chased the police and their backup units out of the neighborhood. It was an intense evening that was to be repeated at different levels of intensity for the next five days and nights as gay, lesbian, and transgender people worked together in refusing to be victimized any longer.

    In the months to come, the Stonewall riots ignited the modern fight for equal rights for same-sex loving and transgender people all over America. While gay history did not begin with Stonewall,it was not until this brave group of people stood up against persecution that we could even begin to imagine a world where all Americans are considered free and equal under the eyes of the law.

    June 28, 1970, marked the first-year anniversary of the events at the Stonewall Inn and the beginning of the first Gay Pride march in American history through the streets of New York City. There were marches in Los Angeles and Chicago as well. By 1972, there were marches in 12 major U.S. cities, as well as in England, France, Germany, and Sweden. Today there are Gay Pride marches in locations across the globe.

    Stonewall Uprising

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