Mountain Youth has the motto “Stronger Together”. This holds firm because when supportive individuals surround us, we thrive as a community. This is precisely the goal Britny Rose set out to achieve when she was planning the first-ever Pride Event in Eagle County.
Britney Rose has lived in Eagle County for the past three years. She recalls asking a friend why there had never been a Pride event during June in Eagle County. Her friend did not have an answer for her, but had something better. “Why don’t you be the one to do something about it?”, her friend suggested. That lit a fire in Britny. With lots of passion, determination, and community support, she made it happen. In only seven days, she obtained permits and found DJ’s to put together an incredible event. As stressful as the planning might have been, Pride in the Park was important not only for Britny but for so many members of our community.
June 27th, 2020 was the first annual Pride in the Park event at Nottingham Lake in Avon. A crowd of 150 people spent the day celebrating love and acceptance by dancing, singing, eating, playing games, and enjoying each others company. The day was full of sunshine, laughter, and new friendships.
According to the 2019 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, in the past 12 months, 63.4% of high school students were teased because of their sexual orientation. Many youth and adults in the LGBTQ+ community struggle with mental illness and it often worsens when they feel isolated. Britny Rose saw a lack of representation and visibility regarding her LGBTQ+ peers in Eagle County. That is precisely why having events like Pride in the Park is so important. These events foster a community where members of Eagle County can feel a sense of belonging and be surrounded by people who encourage each other to be transparent and free.
Strangers continue to express gratitude towards Britny for hosting Pride in the Park where they could celebrate with their friends and other members of the community. A conversation that truly resonated with her was with a 12-year-old transgender youth. This person traveled quite a long distance to be a part of the event at Nottingham Park. The teen didn't have an outlet like this where they lived, so they drove from out west to be a part of this day. Many youth struggle with finding a support system which is exactly why we need more positive LGBTQ+ events in our community. One of Britny's main goals is to make the experience of trangender youth better than her own.
Britny has a laundry list of goals for herself and the community. She is working on different events to bring LGBTQ+ community members together. Evenings out on the town, barbeques, ski days, a pride counsel, and a local support hotline are just to name a few. She also has big ideas for next year's Pride Event. Britny imagines a whole weekend with events in Avon, Eagle, and Vail; entire days booked with live music, drag shows, food trucks, and tents with resources from all over Eagle County. Not only does she want Pride in the Park to continue, but other days throughout the year for LGBTQ+ members and allies to come together to mountain bike, hike, and enjoy fun activities together. She wants visitors who come to Eagle County to see how supportive we are.
Britny created a Facebook page that anyone is open to join named Eagle County Pride. She considers this page an all-in-one resource to provide information about events in the community, a place to make friends, and also for anyone in need of support.
Founding the Pride Event in Eagle County is only the start for Britny; she is ready to do more, and she feels like an essential female member of our community. Britny feels the freedom to be herself, and no one thinks of her other than who she is -- a strong, powerful woman who is making a difference in the community by bringing people together and showing them they can be themselves, too.