“Safe Pride: A Commitment in Blood” will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 12 at 263 Marketplace, 700 York Road in Warminster.
The event was created to raise funds — and awareness — for HIV/AIDS, with proceeds going to benefit AIDS Fund.
Safe Pride creator Dr. Natalie Beech said she initially was interested in launching an event that focused on the HIV/AIDS community while also addressing the nation’s blood shortage. However, her efforts were stymied by the federal law that prevents gay men from giving blood.
“We have a serious blood shortage right now and this law is preventing people from donating,” Beech said.
To contend with the ban, Safe Pride is featuring an “Adopt A Gay” blood drive with the Red Cross, in which a woman or a straight man can donate blood on behalf of a gay man — to drive home the point that twice the amount of blood could have been collected if it weren’t for the law.
Motorcyclists from Ride for AIDS will be on hand for the celebration, which will also feature drag performances, show-tune karaoke and a pooch parade.
The event has the full support of the Marketplace, an indoor market featuring 70 vendors.
Marketplace general manager Dan McLaughlin said the facility is eager to welcome Safe Pride supporters.
“I hope the event goes really well and that it achieves its mission,” he said. “It’s a great idea that will benefit all types of people.”
Beech said she expects the event to be a mixture of LGBTs and allies.
It will be a first for Warminster, she said.
“Warminster has never had a Pride event,” she said. “We’re surrounded by three places that all support the LGBT community and do their own Pride celebrations — New Hope, Doylestown and Hatboro. But this has never happened here in Warminster so it’s about time.”
For more information, visit www.safepride.org.
Jen Colletta can be reached at email@example.com.