‘We're all here to celebrate’

Florence drag queen Fanny Rugburn brought students from Wood Vocal Studios to Eugene Pride on Aug. 13, where they sang, waved their “freak flags” and celebrated a sense of community.

Florence performs at Pride in the park

Aug. 16, 2022 — Florence drag queen Fanny Rugburn, aka Jason Wood, performed at Eugene Pride at Alton Baker Park on Aug. 13. Additionally, several students from Wood Vocal Studios took to the stage for their own songs. Fanny’s show included singing, the reading of “Our Rainbow” by Little Bee Books and a parade with flags flying.

“I'm here for the reason why everybody's here — we're all here to celebrate,” Wood said. “I'm also able to contribute to my community by putting on this show and invite some of our younger ‘queerdos’ to participate and be a part of it.”

He said that creating a sense of community is important to anyone, especially for LGBTQ+ people.

Besides snow cones in the hot summer heat, “that's my goal — for just everyone to have a good time, celebrate and let your freak flag wave.”

Vocal student Rachel said she participated because she loves her chosen song, her friends were there and rainbows are her favorite things.

For Elliot, who came out as trans in sixth grade, “This is close to me,” he said. “I've been involved with theater and vocal lessons since first grade. I felt like they just perfectly merged together so well that it felt kind of like it was meant to be or something.”

A group of current and former Siuslaw students joined Fanny for a picture, along with Siuslaw High School Principal Mike Harklerode. Other western Lane County residents also attended Eugene’s Pride event.

While Florence does not have a Pride, Yachats hosted one in June and Southern Oregon Coast Pride will take place this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19 and 20. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/socpcooscounty/.

Florence drag queen Fanny Rugburn brought students from Wood Vocal Studios to Eugene Pride on Aug. 13, where they sang, waved their “freak flags” and celebrated a sense of community.

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