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From staff reports
PFLAG Beaumont is seeking LGBTQ future leaders and advocates interested in becoming Pride Fest debutantes who will be presented at a formal ball this spring.
“The role of a PFLAG debutante is designed to, yes, come out as your most authentic self, but also, PFLAG wants to prepare and cultivate future leaders in the community, “ said Payshunz Nagashima, PFLAG Beaumont education chair. “The best way to advocate for marginalized population is to give [them the opportunity] to advocate for themselves.”
PFLAG Beaumont, which is in the midst of its inaugural Pride Fest Season, will host an open call for debutantes at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 18 at the LogOn Cafe, 3508 Calder in Beaumont. Those interested can attend this meeting or email PFLAG Beaumont at [email protected], to make an alternative appointment.
Nolan Thornall, a 2016 Pride debutante, said his experience with the organization gave him the opportunity to reach out to the community and get to know more people.
“Being a 2016 debutante was a tremendous honor,” Thornall said. “It was more than a title; it was being a visible representation of a community of love and acceptance.”
Thornall now serves as chair of the ball for PFLAG Beaumont.
“I was happy to get involved with PFLAG Beaumont’s Pride Fest efforts after the dissolution of Beaumont Pride in 2016,” Thornall said. “We are taking several events and procedures for the previous organization’s playbook—the events and titles that the community holds most dear.”
Nagashima, a 2016 Beaumont Pride debutante, said the new Pride Fest subcommittee is on the right track with the solicitation of debutantes. “Unfortunately, the year I was a debutante for the former organization, we had the Pulse Nightclub shootings. The former debutantes immediately sprang into action, and with the help of the former committee, we had a memorial vigil the very night after the tragic event, and two more gatherings in memoriam that week.”