Blount Pride Festival Features Drag Queen Story Time For Children, Teen Event Led By Local High School Teacher

Image Credit: Ted Eytan / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

One of the first events at the Blount Pride Festival on Saturday is a Rainbow and Drag Queen storytime on the main stage, followed later by “educational and connection-building activities” led by a local high school teacher according to Ari Baker who is on the Blount Pride steering committee.

The city of Maryville sees the return of the Blount Pride Festival after a two year hiatus on Saturday, July 30th. Billed as a celebration and “big ol’ party” the downtown event being held in centrally located Jack Greene Park is being touted as “family friendly” with activities for children and teens all day long.

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Organizers say, “Not only do we welcome kids, we’re working to make this a safe, friendly, affirming space for all children.”

Among other “child friendly” activities, attendees can make “encouragement cards” for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs at local high schools in Blount County, and teens can participate in “Intro to Queer History” as well as an event entitled “Shadows of Ourselves: Imitating the Art of J.R. Mounts” led by a local GSA sponsor, intended for young people to “discover who they are and who they would like to be through artistic expression.”

Several performers are scheduled, these include Grady Milligan, Kukuly and the Fuego, Drag Queen Tyra Von Shade, a Knoxville-based electro pop artist, and a “nonbinary rising star in the alt-country world.”

Pride events have been steadily growing in East Tennessee since first being observed in Knoxville in 2006. Blount Pride held its first event in 2019 at The Bird and the Book on East Broadway in Maryville. This year’s event is only the second time that the festival has been organized due to COVID-19 restrictions over the last two years.

Blount Pride is partnered with Foothills Unitarian Universalist Church, Southland Books and Café, Knox Pride and Appalachian OUTreach, Appalachian Community Fund as a fiscal sponsor.

Baker said, “Our committee was intentional that our event includes activities for youth, since they are arguably the most vulnerable members of our community. LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. LGBTQ youth are 120 percent more likely to experience homelessness.”

According to Baker, a number of foster agencies intend to set up tables at the event because it is difficult to find “affirming placements” for LGBTQ youth.

Steering committee member Shannon Bryant said that the city of Maryville has arranged for a designated area for protesters with their own parking, away from festival attendees in an effort to minimize any potential conflicts.

Even though Blount County is conservative, less than a dozen protested in 2019 and organizers of this year’s festival don’t expect many demonstrators. Bryant said that “dozens of supporters” drove by the event in 2019 who “honked in affirmation and gestured with upturned thumbs, which was an encouraging sign of the acceptance by the majority of Blount Countians.”

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at paula@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

20 thoughts on “Blount Pride Festival Features Drag Queen Story Time For Children, Teen Event Led By Local High School Teacher

  • July 29, 2022 at 5:11 pm
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    This is the equivalent of a porn store, only this one has wheels.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 6:34 pm
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    What in the world has our world comes to with a so called church as a sponsor?

    These people are serving Satan and taking our children with them!

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    • July 31, 2022 at 7:20 pm
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      Do the names Sodom and Gomorrah sound familiar. That is what America is today. A bunch of reprobate minds. When you have a church calling itself unitarian universalist Church, beware that means it is all inclusive. They are far removed from teaching God’s word because God does not condone this type of behavior.The Bible tells us this. Any parent that takes their children to this porn show on steroids needs to have their head examined. This is definitely not normal behavior and should not be accepted as such. This is a haven for sex traffickers and pedophiles that prey on these young children. Just think about this any grown man that dresses up as a woman, wearing a wig, putting on makeup that would make a clown envious and then go around strutting as if he were a runway model is just plain sick. It doesn’t matter how hard they try to justify it. Not normal just perverted. Blount County should be ashamed.
      “Even though Blount County is conservative, less than a dozen protested in 2019 and organizers of this year’s festival don’t expect many demonstrators. Bryant said that “dozens of supporters” drove by the event in 2019 who “honked in affirmation and gestured with upturned thumbs, which was an encouraging sign of the acceptance by the majority of Blount Countians.” I wonder how true this statement really is? God says hate the sin and love the sinner. We need to pray for these people that they may accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
      In God we trust not government or man. Have a blessed day.

      Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 7:39 pm
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    We are loosing TN. along with out country here. Any parent that takes their child to something like that should be arrested for child abuse. What are these people thinking?????? Anyone that condones this needs to have a mental test done because there is something very wrong with them. There needs to be some serious changes to that town this coming election

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    • August 1, 2022 at 9:26 am
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      What do you think happened at this event? It was family-friendly and the kids had a great time! Great music, delicious local food, lots of resources like where our local food banks are, how to get healthcare if you can’t afford it, and who to turn to if you need a hand. It’s more important than ever for us to make community connections and support each other – I believe in a God that loves unconditionally! It’s a shame that his “Christians” don’t actually live out his principles and choose hate over love and joy 🙁

      Reply
    • August 3, 2022 at 5:51 pm
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      You delusionals have no room to talk about mental tests.

      Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 10:31 pm
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    DEMONIC!! Hard to believe anyone would take their children to this! Lord help our children! Pray for our country!

    Reply
  • July 30, 2022 at 12:26 am
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    They had better enjoy their pride now because in the end will not be very prideful!! Very disturbing and sickening The world has come so low.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2022 at 5:53 pm
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    The reason they want children to be welcomed at this satanic worshipping event is to normalize this at an early age. Any church that sponsors this is not teaching the word. Folks better wake up before it’s too late.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2022 at 12:29 pm
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    I see no pride in being GAY we have let the left and LIBS, make people think this life style is a good thing, it is not. FIRST it was AIDS caused by gay sex, now it is MONKEYPOX caused by gay men. PEOPLE in our STATE are being barin washed by the elft.

    Reply
    • August 1, 2022 at 9:23 am
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      AIDS wasn’t caused by gay sex, it was spread by intimate contact and hit the gay community the hardest. Monkeypox is not caused by gay men, but after the AIDS crisis they’re the most likely group to go get suspicious lesions checked out! Neither of those diseases discriminate based on sexuality, and framing it as a “gay disease” means that many non-gay people will die as collateral. Monkeypox spreads through contact with the virus, which is shed through those lesions – anyone can catch it, and children are most likely to die from it. It’s good to be yourself, especially in the face of bigoted hatred! People who are gay are still deserving of love, dignity, and care. Hope this helps 🙂

      Reply
  • August 1, 2022 at 9:19 am
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    These comments are hilarious! To any queer folks like me out there reading them, I want to assure you of 2 things – 1, if you haven’t already, you will find a community of people who loves and accepts you as you are without shame. It’s the best feeling in the world to be in queer community – we’re so warm and helpful! 2, everyone in these comments claiming to speak on behalf of God is taking her name in vain. JC would absolutely have been rocking with us and not in their fancy churches that love money and preach hate! We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re full of the holiest feeling of all – the joy of being in community and loving our neighbors unconditionally!

    Reply
    • August 1, 2022 at 6:17 pm
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      You say these comments are hilarious. Of course they would be to people like you because your community lacks moral integrity and decency. Obviously you have never read the Bible because your actions are an abomination to God. I do not care how you want to spin it and even justify it. You don’t need to answer to me. You will have to answer to God one day. Thats the problem as you stated its all about “feelings, warm, helpful and accepting” because it isn’t a normal behavior. As I stated before God says “hate the sin and not the sinner”. I will be praying that you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior because “He is where the Joy is”. Here are some scriptures that I will leave you with.
      Leviticus 18:22
      ” ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
      Deuteronomy 22:5
      A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detest anyone who does this.
      There are many more scriptures that show your type of lifestyle is immoral in God’s eyes. These are not my words these are God’s words.
      This pretty much describes what this event was all about. I pray that you will find your moral compass.
      In God we trust not government or man. Have a blessed day.

      Reply
  • August 2, 2022 at 1:19 pm
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    I’m in Australia and I haven’t seen this in my local park. We have sports in our parks.. We have vile shit in some libraries. Awhile back maybe .. we had conservatives protesting against drag queens at a public library . But they were removed because governments support this degeneracy!

    Reply
  • August 3, 2022 at 4:29 am
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    I love people pointing fingers at Christians saying they’re NOT being “Christians” when they have no idea what BIBLICAL principles are bc they’ve never read the Bible and are in complete and otter rebellion w/God! We can love the person and stand against the forces that are working in opposition to godly principles, especially when it comes to preserving the innocence of children, good grief! We do not believe in sodomy whether you like it or not, we do not believe in same sex marriage and we certainly do not believe in transgender(xyzpdq :0) relations, especially when reading/training children in sexually explicit material all over America these days, or like at this event, dancing provocatively in front of young children in tight sexual outfits. This is not the world I want my grandchild living in. The “free love” mentality of the 70’s has been rebirthed but on steroids! It’s out of control and pedophilia IS the last stand for the radicals. They have occupied our cities and are now coming after small town America. I know not ALL ‘gays’ believe in this radical sexual behavior today as being acceptable and for that I am grateful, but lets be honest, at the core of the radical side of this agenda is the goal to destroy the family unit as it was created and ordained by God, male AND female, as taught to me in a Women Studies class at the University of MD in the 80’s. They will NOT be satisfied until they have control over America’s children and SEX, not love, is at the core and that my friend IS SATANIC! Pleeease read the Homosexual Agenda if you haven’t. Transgender, and beyond, behavior is getting out of control… we’ve gone from redefining marriage between a man and a women to gay rights to transgender rights to EVERYTHING goes! Extreme sexual perversion and capturing the next gen. at a young age was the goal all along and is CLEARLY stated in the radical homosexual agenda. Wake up America and TN, social correctness is destroying this country one issue at a time. Get out there and be MORE vocal before it’s to late. This is not the time to hide in your homes but to take back what we know in love and believe is healthy for our country and our children. We are in a fight of good vs evil and the sooner you wake up to that fact the better. Another aspect of this “free love/anything goes” mentality is that NO ONE is talking about is what comes out of these movements and the consequences of these behaviors, like the 70’s sexually transmitted diseases. Diseases will be on the rise and it will be carried from this life style to the heterosexual community. It can and will affect us all. Maybe that’s part of the unspoken plan too

    Reply
    • August 3, 2022 at 5:54 pm
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      Your god doesn’t exist and every day you don’t realize that is a day of your life you will never get back. Wake up before it’s too late.

      Reply
      • August 3, 2022 at 6:24 pm
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        Just because you choose not to believe in God doesn’t mean other people are not allowed to believe. Millions of people around the world believe in some form of higher power including Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and native tribes. The fact that you do not believe in any higher power does not mean that someone else’s life is any less than yours. Your lack of tolerance and discrimination against religion is just as bigoted as anyone who discriminates based on gender and race.

        Reply
  • August 3, 2022 at 6:13 pm
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    Drag queens dancing in a provocative way is the same as exotic dancing in strio clubs and by no means appropriate for children in any way. This is a not a family friendly event in the same way the Super Bowl halftime show are no longer family friendly.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2022 at 7:51 pm
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    He who He set free He set FREE indeed! I’m free from the power of sin by His grace and the power of a LIVING God and the blood of Christ that washes me and YOU as white as snow. Behold old things pass away and all things are new; we are a NEW creation in Him. I’m praying that you’re surrounded and can’t escape His truth, the truth that God created us in HIS image, not the image man wants and thinks. You are a glorious product of God’s creation; However, you are NOT the creator!;) BTW, our God, the God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob, is the big G, you’re right gods do not exist!
    Check out Patti Height from Out of Egypt

    Reply
    • August 10, 2022 at 11:25 am
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      Well said! I pray for (F) that one day he excepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior before it is to late.
      In God we trust not government or man.
      Have a blessed day.

      Reply

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