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Pride Week • June 4-12
Pride pass: $50/ind.; $80/couple

Pride Week signifies acceptance. It stands for support. It exists to bring together groups throughout the community for a peaceful celebration of every type of person in its makeup. Cities nationwide have celebrations for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, questioning, intersexed and asexual (GLBTQIA) people; Wilmington is among them.

Taking place June 4 through 12, Pride Week has undergone a few changes from its previous inception. Once headed by OutWilmington, today Wilmington Pride (WP) oversees the festival. Founded in November of 2010, WP seeks to promote equality, raise awareness, invoke education and present support to its citizens in all ways possible. President of WP, TR Nunley, says the organization has a lasting impact.

“We are within the throes of a new civil rights movement regarding LGBT communities. Why should the families we have not have the same rights as everyone else?” she asks. “Because we are different we can’t get married, have second-parent adoptions, freedom from discrimination in the workplace, and same-sex partner benefits. We are the only minority that gets bullied at home, school, church and society, and we need to show the next generation that there is a family of GLBTQIA members waiting for them, with open arms willing to accept them no matter who they want to love.”

Pride Week manifests as a celebration of divergence and compliance, ensuring a host of events that continue bringing entertainment and education to its masses. With a Pride pass, currently on sale for $50 a person or $80 a couple, folks can enjoy a dozen or so events for free or half price. Live music, theatre, picnics and potlucks, T-dances and fusion dance parties, along with the first-ever GLBTQIA-friendly Pink Sheep Film Festival (page 14) are on the agenda.

“During the festival we will be working on the ‘It Gets Better Project’ and filming local community members,” Nunley discloses. “While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The ‘It Gets Better Project’ is a national program that was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach—if they can just get through their teen years. ‘It Gets Better’ wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone.”

Pride Week kicks off with this message at its forefront during Chasity Scott’s “Lavender Monologues.” Following will be eight days of celebration.
Here’s a look ahead.

Saturday, June 4th
(Also takes place the 5th and 9th)
Thurs. and Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.
16 Taps • 127 Princess Street
$10 or half off w/pass, Sat/Sun; free, Thurs.
Written by Chasity Scott, the “Lavender Monologues” follows the heart-wrenching stories surrounding gay and transgender suicide. Scott became inspired after learning about a the death of a friend.

“The young man who committed suicide was told by his brother he would rather have him dead than be a faggot,” Nunley explains. “Later in the day, the 15-year-old hung himself from his ceiling fan in his brother’s bedroom.”

Studies have shown suicide numbers increase among the GLBTQIA community because of the prevalence of homophobia in modern society. In fact, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center noted a 30 to 40 percent ratio of GLBTQIA citizens who attempt to take their lives, making it the leading cause of death between 15- and 24-year-olds of the same group.

“Transgender stories for the youth community is especially important to me,” Nunley says, “because in the last two months I have recently come out to my family, friends and community as transgender—a process I have been struggling with for about a year.”

The “Lavender Monolgues” covers the trials and tribulations many people face during their outted stages. “It brings to light fictional and factual stories that give insight into the lives of GLBTQIA individuals, their moments and days before their death,” Nunley says.

Told through the eyes of those who have passed, the goal of the play is to become a nationwide model of speech and education. It’s to help people triumph over their struggles, and realize there are resources and an abundance of support and love to overcome bullying and depression. Performed from Wilmington’s gay youth community, there is limited seating for all three shows: June 4, 5 and 9; $10 tickets are available now.

Sunday, June 5th
6 p.m.-9 p.m. • Free
The George on the Riverwalk
128 South Water Street
Located on the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, The George on the Riverwalk is the only dock ‘n’ dine restaurant located in Wilmington’s historic district. They serve fresh seafood from Wrightsville Beach’s Mott’s Seafood, and will serve heavy hors d’œuvre and drink specials. Folks can come dressed casually and enjoy the live music that will play on the deck. To reserve a spot, check out Facebook:!/event.php?eid=150184698384872.

Toolbox • 2325 Burnett Boulevard
Free with Pride pass
Located in the Sunset Park area of Wilmington, just on the outskirts of downtown, the Toolbox hosts an evening of pizzazz with their drag-queen cabaret show. Led by its director Destiny Speaks, the ladies get all dolled up for one saucy show, including performers Ashlee Amore, Ellen De Marlo and Hellena Handbasquet. Showtime is 11 p.m.

Monday, June 6th
Costello’s Piano Bar • 211 Princess St.
One of downtown Wilmington’s coziest hideaways, Costello’s, is a sing-a-long spot, bringing in talented musicians to keep patrons forever entertained. From 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday evening, Kim Dicso will be tickling her skilled hands on the ivories and serenading sweet somethings in everyone’s ears.

The show is free, and the fun gets underway at 7 p.m. Costello’s stays open until 2 a.m.; drink specials served all night long.

Tuesday, June 7th
Jungle Rapids • 5320 Oleander Drive
Bring the kids—or just the kid in you—to Jungle Rapids on Tuesday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The fun center will have all arcade games ready for action, as well as go-kart rides, Jungle golf and a climbing wall! They’ll be selling two activities and 20 tokens for $10; Pride pass holders can purchase them for only $5.

Wednesday, June 8th
Front Street Brewery • 26 Front Street
Ibiza • 118 Market Street
With encouragement for a group sing-a-long to Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way” from Pride Week organizers, Wilmington Pride, the invasion welcomes participants to Front Street Brewery first. Why? To invade the bar, which will be open on the third floor from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. People can mingle and enjoy live music from Jane Houseal.

Afterward, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., everyone can head over to Ibiza for one massive lyric challenge after another. Karaoke will be hosted by Ashley Williamson Lord. Lady Gaga attire welcome (except maybe no meat dresses, please!).

Thursday, June 9th
Ibiza • 118 Market Street
Free with Pride pass • $10 without
The queens strutted their stuff Sunday night at the Toolbox. Now, the kings will reign royalty at Ibiza. The midnight show will personify male stereotypes to no avail, and include a hefty amount of dancing, singing and quite impressive transformations. It will feature Austin Banghur, Mr. Diamond and Michael Carter, and will be hosted by Tara Nicole Brooks.

Friday, June 10th
Jengo’s Playhouse • 815 Princess Street $7/adv or $10/door or $5/Pride pass
$5 after-party drink cup
See page 14.

Ibiza • 118 Market Street
Half off with Pride pass
This bodacious show will encompass all-things flamboyant! And there are two performances in store as to not miss a thing. Taking place at Ibiza, Tara Nicole is Wilmington’s premier drag queen icon who titillates with curvaceous moves and a captivating persona. The bar will be open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., but times for her Funhouse show are 10:30 p.m. and 12:15 a.m.

Toolbox • 2325 Burnett Boulevard
Free with Pride pass
Known as Music Madness Night, DJ Willie Stylez will be turning tunes for folks to shake and break down on the dance floor. There will also be $3 drink specials and $2 beer.

Saturday, June 11th
Ibiza Parking Lot • 118 Market Street
11:11 a.m., sharp! • Free
Little monsters will have their paws up on the downtown streets of Wilmington on Saturday morning. Celebrating the message that Lady Gaga so emphatically sings in “Born This Way,” Wilmington will see its first flash mob. Folks will meet in the Ibiza parking lot, at the corner of 2nd and Market. To be a part of the mob, participants need to RSVP on Facebook by searching “Born this Way Flash Mob,” or e-mail Where the mob will descend remains a secret until minutes before the performance.

Snow’s Cut Parl, Shelter 3 • River Road
1 p.m.-5 p.m. • Free
What better way to connect and share with each other than over lunch in a park? Participants can bring a covered dish to share with everyone at Snow’s Cut Park, Shelter 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Stonewall Democrats will provide hamburgers, hotdogs and veggie burgers.

It’s one of the most important events culminating throughout the festival and includes live music from Susan Savia, Social NV and Rhodestown Duo, along with Stephanie Muccia-Hart and Chris Hart from the Dirty Dakotas, who performed during the local National Coming Out Day Pride Rally last fall. Keynote speakers will include Chasity Scott, the writer and director of the “Lavender Monologues,” as well as Wilmington Pride board members and PFLAG organization members.

Ibiza • 118 Market Street
9 p.m.- 2 a.m.
Half off with Pride pass
Again, the party continues Saturday night at Ibiza with famed DJ Daniel Kristopherre from Miami, Florida, taking over the turntables. Kristopherre stamps an innovative approach to meshing house and dance music, and makes sure to connect with dancers whether playing tunes or performing on his own accord.

Toolbox • 2325 Burnett Boulevard
Free with Pride pass
Again, the males take over the Toolbox, in an effort to showcase their moves and perform to the maximum capacity of gaiety. Pride Week will go out with a bang with these guys leading the helm.

Sunday, June 12th
Level 5 • 21 N. Front St., 5th floor
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
$5 or free with Pride pass
It’s a traditional way to wind down the weekend. Originally, a women’s only soirée, during Pride Week WP has opened it to all GLBTQIA members. The dance takes place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring tunes by DJ Mandy. Participants will be able to enjoy the best view of the sun setting over the Cape Fear River, as Level 5 provides a perfect backdrop, overlooking downtown Wilmington.

Though Pride Week opens conversations about issues facing the GLBTQIA community, it’s not without a larger purpose: to gain exposure at more fundamental levels within society. Nunley hopes our city will come to see the importance of remaining a diverse, interactive community of team players.

“Like Asheville and Durham has already done, I would also love for the City of Wilmington to sign a gay rights resolution that would extending the city’s employment discrimination clause to include ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity or expression,’” she says. “And enacting an anti-bullying ordinance for all city institutions and grounds, and provide anti-bullying programs in schools, along with creating a Domestic Partner Registry to recognize same-sex relationships.”

In the end it’s about love—something that should have no restraints.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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