Reporter Learns A Lot From PRIDE
June 15, 2017
By Chelsea Maynard
Kid Scoop Media Reporter
Culver City High School
This past weekend I attended the LA Pride Festival in West Hollywood. I was working as a kid reporter for KSM Kid Scoop Media. I had the pleasure of interviewing both the sponsors and people attending the festival about what Pride means to them.
One of the festival sponsors I interviewed was SoCal Lutherans Churches. I spoke with Kristan Kohler, who is currently attending seminary school. Kohler said that the goal for the SoCal Lutheran Church is to show that God loves and welcomes everyone, and that you can be who you are. You shouldn't try to change that.
He said he attended a church that was very silent about the LGBT community and didn't realize that you could really be gay until college. His message to kids my age is to know that you should be okay with who you are, and that you are always welcome no matter what.
I thanked Kristian for letting me interview him and was on my way to explore more of the festival.
While walking around I ran into social media star Jackson Krecioch, who is known through the popular lip syncing app Musical.ly and YouTube. Jackson has recently come out as gay on Youtube so I wanted to ask some questions about his point of view on Pride.
First and foremost I asked Jackson about what Pride means to him. He said that Pride means a lot to him because it's a way to be ourselves and be fully accepting of who we are. He also said that over the years, people have shown less hate and it's become more accepted with every event.
He thinks that is so cool and he loves it. I asked him how things have been since coming out and he said it's a lot of pressure. Since he's now a part of the LGBT community, he has to be a role model for other people when he himself doesn't know what he's doing at age 19.
Jackson's message to kids in high school is to just do what makes you happy because pleasing people is just going to suck. His best advice is to be yourself. After speaking with Jackson, I took a picture and was on my way.
We took a break from Pride to relax at the Beverly Terrace Hotel at the invitation of the company CFO Kathy Johnson and General Manager Seth Horowitz.
After we headed back to the festival I continued to explore, I saw a booth for a non profit organization called Writopia, so I went and asked them some questions. Writopia started 10 years ago in New York City and recently came to Los Angeles five years ago. It is a place where kids up to age 18 can feel free to write whatever they want without any censorship.
I asked what their connection to Pride was and basically they were at Pride to target an audience they hadn't been focusing on. They wanted to reach out more to the LGBT community.
If interested, you can register online for this program. Writopia lets everyone participate, no matter what their financial situation.
While eating a brownie backstage I noticed a woman wearing a super cool pink unicorn outfit and decided to ask her some questions. Her name is Courtney and I asked her why she was at Pride. She talked about how she grew up with people who identified in the LGBT community and was always very accepting with the idea.
While speaking with her, one of her friends came up to us and said that what I was doing was amazing. She said that my generation, as cheesy as it sounds, is the future, and how we respond to this community is important.
Courtney pointed me in the direction of one of the sweetest people I've ever met, Luna Lovebad. I asked Luna what Pride meant to her and she said that Pride is being proud of who you are and that you should be prideful.
Luna Lovebad has been openly transgender for five years now and is always open to helping out people who are struggling with who they are. I asked Luna what message she would give to teenagers and she said that young people are stuck having to be something they're not, but to always know that it gets better.
Overall, Pride was one of the greatest experiences of my life and it's one I'll never forget. I loved the diversity of the people at the festival, and everyone was so sweet and welcoming.
Pride is definitely an event everyone should attend because it is such a great and fun loving experience for all. Most importantly, I learned that you should accept yourself and others. Be who you are and don't let people change you to fit their needs.