In Own Our Voices (IOOV) is proud to present the seventh annual
Say it Loud!: Black and Latino Gay Pride, May 29th – June 1st, 2013, a celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People of Color (LGBT POC) communities living throughout the Capital Region. It is a chance for LGBT POC, their families, friends, and allies to come together in solidarity while celebrating our freedom, strength, and talent. Through this unique event, IOOV provides an opportunity to acknowledge and recognize the individuality and diversity of the vibrant LGBT POC community and their contributions to the LGBT community at large. Over the course of four days there will be an array of activities, including:
• Racism Under the Rainbow; A Community Discussion
• The Wiz Ball and School Daze Teen Ball
• A Sober dance;
• A Health & Wellness Expo featuring vendors who represent a variety of health and human service providers; Screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure; and Free HIV/STI testing;
• The Celebration held down at the Albany Riverfront Park which includes food and family friendly entertainment; and
• The After Party which caps off the day with fabulous music
and Latrice Royale.
The importance of Say It Loud! is obvious. It is an opportunity for LGBT POC to come together in solidarity, to celebrate our individuality, diversity and strengths. Yes, it is a fun filled event, with food and entertainment, but we are most proud of the Health & Wellness Expo. Created in 2008, with only twelve vendors, over the years it has grown to well over thirty vendors representing a variety of health and human service agencies were present to disseminate information and to promote their vital services. In addition, participants received free screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure. Nearly 100 participants were tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections too! This portion of Say it Loud! is so important because it is a known fact that LGBT POC are the most medically underserved population in the United States.
The number of attendees continues to increase as well, with over 1500 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People of Color (LGBT POC) from all over the Capital Region who participated in 2012.