SC Pride president on National Coming Out Day, upcoming Pride Festival


Today is National Coming Out Day — a day to honor the LGBTQ+ community.

The designation started in 1988 as a way to encourage people to live as their true selves and come out to family, friends, and coworkers.

“If you’re afraid to come out, the climate is a little bit better now than it used to be back in my era in the 80’s and 90’s. But I’m hoping that you know that Pride, when it rolls around in the street, is your support system. It is our loudest day coming up here in SC. And you have all the support you need. You can always contact SC Pride. We have a center here you can reach out to, and just trust your instinct. Don’t be afraid to be who you are,” says Jeff March, the President of SC Pride.

National Coming Out Day and SC Pride are also meant to promote a more inclusive and safer world for people in the LGBTQ+ community.

March has been the President of SC Pride for 11 years now and has seen attendance grow significantly.

He estimates that in 2012 around 17,000 people attended. Last year, March says close to 85,000 people took part in the weekend of events.

“Did I see it coming? No. Did I dream it coming? Yes. And that dream kept me pushing harder and harder to make that dream a reality,” says March.

March will be stepping down as SC Pride President this year and says this weekend will be bittersweet.

“Being on that stage Friday and Saturday night and seeing it all one last time from that perspective, it always gets me emotional, and this one’s going to hit me a lot harder I’m afraid. But I’m very proud of what I’ve done so I’m looking forward to seeing it all happen this year,” says March.

The Pride Parade will start at around 7 pm Friday night. The Pride Festival will kick off on Saturday at noon. Later that evening, the event will feature Natasha Bedingfield, Sheila E., Crystal Waters, and CupcakKe as well as entertainers from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“I am honored to have served for so long, and looking forward to everything as it unfolds this weekend,” says March.

For a full list of events this weekend, visit SC Pride.

Categories: Local News, Richland