Planning Pride in a Pandemic: An Interview with the Pinta Pride Project
By Donna Boguslavsky
2020 is a year of many firsts for all of us, and now we can add a socially-distanced Pride parade to that list. This is thanks to a Buffalo Grove middle schooler, Molly, and her parents, Carolyn and Bob Pinta, co-founders of the Pinta Pride Project. Making history is not new to the trio who made national waves last year as they hosted Buffalo Grove’s first ever Pride parade. They’re continuing their mission of making a community of support for LGBTQ+ people in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs by hosting the Buffalo Grove Pride Drive where participants can drive by 94 designated homes to partake in the fun from a safe distance. Kenneth Young Center will be participating in the drive and promoting our LGBTQ+ Center located which is located in Schaumburg.
“They are having so much fun being involved, but to those queer kiddos and even adults out there that do not have supportive people in their lives to see a village of 94 homes create this just to show support for them- that is where the magic is at!” - Carolyn Pinta, Pinta Pride Project
We talked with Carolyn about the challenges of planning a parade amid the Coronavirus crisis and her hopes for the event.
How did you come up with the idea for Pride Drive, did it spontaneously hit you or had you been brainstorming alternatives to a traditional parade? We knew that no matter what happened on June 7th that we would decorate our own home like crazy people and have giveaways. We thought it would be fun to see who else might like to join in.
Have you been surprised by how quickly and by how many families and organizations have asked to participate? I guess in the end, I have not been surprised at all because the parade last year was so well attended and folks are really looking for something positive to be a part of right now. What I have been surprised about is the level of time, energy and creativity those involved have put into it. It has been beautiful to watch the excitement of families working together to create rainbows for their homes; a sign of love and acceptance.
What challenges have you come up against planning a socially-distanced parade that you did not confront last year? Where to begin-- the police "warned" me that I cannot be at 94 homes and that folks will be responsible for policing the social distancing at their own homes, but with our nonprofit's name on the event, blame will fall to us if instructions are not followed. I would be lying if I did not tell you that I'm super nervous about how well people will behave. If it truly is handled as a drive by experience and the weather holds out, it could be amazing! Thinking of how to provide safe entertainment has been the biggest challenge by far.
How can parade attendees help support Pinta Pride’s mission or contribute on the day of the parade? Thanks so much for asking this!! Part of the experience will be that each of the 94 homes will have a box to collect items for two local food pantries and we would like folks to bring an item or items for one of the boxes they see on the route. We will also take monetary donations for the pantry. Donations to show appreciation for the event and support for The Pinta Pride Project can be made anytime at pintaprideproject.com and this money is how we throw all of our events.
Is there anything you would’ve told yourself last year after BG’s first Pride knowing what you know now? Hmmm... I would say, enjoy this moment because next year will be verrrrry different, but Donna, I could not have enjoyed last year more. When folks are excited and involved in their decor, giveaways and planning for their homes, they forget what this is really about and I don't mean that in a negative way. They are having so much fun being involved, but to those queer kiddos and even adults out there that do not have supportive people in their lives to see a village of 94 homes create this just to show support for them-- that is where the magic is at!!
The BG Pride Drive will be
Sunday, June 7th from 12p-3p.
If you’d like to see the KYC staff’s display, stop by 370 Checker Drive, Buffalo Grove, IL!
Special thanks to Carolyn Pinta and the Pinta Pride Project.
Learn More about the LGBTQ+ Center at Kenneth Young: