‘We’ve Always Been Here’

By: Nick Perkins

We’ve truly been a part of something special. From June 6th – 9th, 2019 community members in Casper, Wyoming came together to celebrate art, expression and, most of all, love.

Hundreds of residents marched, danced, sang, spoke, laughed and cried their way through various shops, stages and bars over the course of the weekend. They took pride in not only who they are, but also in what they create. Whether it was a painting, a dance, an emblem or an anthem, Casper, as always, stood together in unison to support our local arts and our local hearts.

For many, Pride Fest/Nic Fest been more than just a memorable weekend. It’s been an opportunity to fully embrace themselves, without fear and without abandon.

We had the opportunity to spend some time in the sun, watching the events that took place all over town. We also had an opportunity to sit down with one of Casper Pride’s most visible allies, Athne Machdane. Athne, along with many other community members, have lived in Casper for years, so we wanted to sit down and find out what Pride really means to them.

The video below documents those conversations and prove, once again, why we are so proud to call Wyoming home.

Examples of what Pride means to Casper community members:

“It means my life. It means that I don’t ever have to apologize ever again for who I am, what I’ve been through or what my experience has brought me.”

“Being happy about who you are.”

“Pride is being yourself, no matter what anybody thinks.”

“Pride, to me, means that regardless of who you are, who you want to be, the abilities that you have or don’t have, or the upbringing that you had or the future you want- the entire accumulation of you is something that you hold in you and you treasure it and you work with and not against.”

“Pride means everything to me. Pride means universal freedom, human rights. It means being able to walk down the street with your hand in your lover’s hand, without being afraid of being looked at or persecuted. It means seeking equality, and until we have that, Pride will always be a thing.

“Pride is affirmation; being happy with yourself, loving your identity- who you were born, who you were meant to be. Being true to yourself.”

This was a truly landmark event and we were so unbelievably proud of the individuals and businesses, especially in The District, who helped make this a safe place for all. Casper proved, once again, that the time for change is now and the place for change is right here, in Casper and in The District.

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