KindRED Pride Foundation forms to continue Orlando’s red shirt tradition

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | KindRED Pride Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed by One Magical Weekend owners Tom Christ and Billy Looper, announced in a press release March 7 their intent to have as many people as possible wear red shirts on June 1.

“On St. Patrick’s Day everyone is inclined to express connection to what that day represents by wearing green on March 17—whether they are Irish or not,” the organization said in the press release.” So the first Saturday of June will continue to be the day that kindred spirits around the world wear RED in solidarity.” The event is being called “RED Shirt Pride Day (#RSPD) Around the World!” KindRED Pride Foundation’s goal is to get more than a million ”like-minded people” to wear red shirts on June 1, no matter where in the world they are.

KindRED Pride Foundation was formed in the wake of GayDayS, Inc.’s announcement in 2018 that starting this year the group’s annual events would be moving from the traditional first weekend of June to mid-August. While the weekend events held during early June each year were collectively called “Gay Days” by some, the events have been presented by a variety of groups including GayDayS,

One Magical Weekend, Girls in Wonderland, Tidal Wave and Black Gay Pride.

Each of these organizations, with the exception of GayDayS, will maintain their events and presence in Orlando on the first weekend in June to carry on “the magic created by the 28-year tradition of the original Gay Day at Magic Kingdom.”

KindRED Pride Foundation “is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the endeavors of like-minded charities for the education, promotion and celebration of diversity, inclusion, equality, safe expression and kindness and create a global movement for the first Saturday of June each year where all LGBT+ persons and allies wear a RED Shirt as a message of our ‘KindRED’ spirit,” according to its website.

The organization goes on, saying it wants to “honor the kindred spirit, bravery and courage of the original attendees back in 1991 by expanding the ‘grass roots’ desire to bring the community together to celebrate our differences as well as our ‘oneness’ and to support endeavors by like-minded charities within the LGBTQIA community by producing sporting, music and other special events.”

The first event to be produced by KindRED Pride Foundation will be “We Are One – An Extravaganza Benefit For Diversity & Inclusion,” a star-studded fundraiser and benefit held at House of Blues at Disney Springs in Orlando May 30.

“Picture your favorite performers—music, dance, comedy, drag —all at one venue helping to raise awareness for the nonprofits we support,” the event page states.

The entertainment lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.

KindRED Pride Foundation also has plans to launch The Pride Cup, a multi-sport competition held annually at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex starting in 2020.

While the event is more than a year away, the organization’s website has teased what sports fans can expect June 5-7, 2020.

“Athletics have been a life saver for many in our community over the decades,” the website states. “Why not introduce athletics to the kick-off of Pride Month, especially when Walt Disney World Resorts has the only multi-sport venue in the world where you can play softball and still watch your friends play dodgeball or tennis or kickball or E-Sports or many other events all within walking distance.”

KindRED Pride Foundation’s website lists several nonprofits, both nationally and locally, as beneficiaries. They include The Trevor Project, Julian’s Fountain of Youth and the One Orlando Alliance, to name a few.

“We believe in the Power of KINDNESS and we believe in the Power of RED,” KindRED Pride Foundation states. ”The red in the pride flag represents life. The original organizers chose this color in order to recognize other kindred spirits at that first gathering. What better way to kick off Pride Month than people around the world wearing RED as a celebration of life in all of its different colors, shapes, sizes, genders, orientations, nationalities, ages, abilities and status.”

To learn more about KindRED Pride Foundation and find out how to become a #BeKindChampion, visit KindREDPride.org.

 

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