Pride Festival: An Open Letter

To the Kansas City Diversity Coalition:
I write this with no hesitation — something I thought I may have felt as I started this open letter. I know that I write this with the support of numerous community members and patrons of the Kansas City Pride Festival. I must ask the question: What is going on? Why has there been nothing from your organization? You claim to be putting on a Pride festival, yet have not released any details. You claim to have the community’s best interest at heart, yet have no desire to reach out to the community to hear the worries and complaints.
I, for one, am sick of the lip service you continue to offer. Your organization has failed. You continue to hinder the community from moving forward. How about building a real coalition, made of community members, business owners and activists alike? A coalition that represents all facets of the community. Our community is represented by a wide variety of people, each of whom’s opinions should matter.
As someone who attended the bi-weekly or so KCDC committee meetings last year, I saw firsthand the shortcomings of the organization.
It is time that the current leadership hang up their hats and let the community decide (a) who is running the festival in a democratic election and (b) what they really want, whether it is a street blast in Westport or a festival in a park. Letting the community actually have a say would speak volumes.
I write this as myself — not as a representative of any of the many organizations I am a part of in this great city, but as a concerned patron of the festival in past years.
Please let the community decide.
In equality,
Caleb-Michael Files
Kansas City, Mo.

Editor’s note: We invited the Kansas City Diversity Coalition leadership to respond to this letter, but we did not hear back from them by our deadline. If we do receive a response, we will print it in our next issue.