By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
When Jamie Nesbitt moved to Bend with his partner four years ago, he wondered about the lack of LGBTQ inclusivity at Mt. Bachelor.
“We reached out to Mt. Bachelor and said, ‘Hey, there’s a few gay skiers in town, we’d love to come up to the mountain and celebrate our pride,” said Nesbitt of OUT Central Oregon. “We’re not asking you for any money, maybe you could hang a rainbow flag!’ And the response was amazing!”
From that conversationWinter Pridefest was born, a four-day event celebrating the LGBTQ community through on and off mountain sports and social activities.
Activities like Drag Tubing and panels, one of which will feature Wyn Wylie, an advocate who may be better known as his drag persona: Pattie-Gonia.
“I’ve been invited to be on an athlete panel which is hilarious that they think I’m an athlete, I don’t think walking in heels-actually no, that is totally a sport! I’m super excited to be on the panel and to be talking with everyone about LGBTQ advocacy and equality in the outdoor space and in the athletic space,” he said.
Nearly 1,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Pridefest.
Nesbitt hopes that those in attendance take away a sense of community and a sense of pride.
“There’s a lot to be proud about living in Bend and having the beauty of the Cascade Mountains and I think part of Winter Pridefest is really a celebration of that,” Nesbitt said.
Added Pattie-Gonia: “To come together and goof off and have fun is so rare and I think that adults need to do it more and queer people need to do it more and we should just do it together!”
For more info on the event, visit https://www.outcentraloregon.com/