PrideFest

Andrew Hinkle / Milwaukee Pride

PrideFest Milwaukee kicks off today, starting Milwaukee's busy season of festivals along the lakefront. This year's PrideFest features bands like The B-52s and LGBT activists such as Danica Roem. But the festival is about more than national acts - it's also an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work.

Wisconsin LGBT History Project

Here in Milwaukee the true start of summer begins when the gates of the Henry Meier Summerfest grounds open. And for the past 30 years the festival to kick off the season has been PrideFest.

Over the course of this weekend, PrideFest will host many national and local performers - such as Betty Who, 10,000 Maniacs and Todrick Hall. While celebrating its 30th anniversary, the fest will also honor the many community leaders and programs that have contributed to Milwaukee's tradition of LGBTQ+ pride.

mbruxelle / Fotolia

Despite the landmark Supreme Court ruling last year that legalized gay marriage, there still are many hurdles for the LGBTQ community to overcome. Some of these issues include adoption, housing rights, workplace equality and transgender rights.

Yet, there is still plenty to celebrate at this year's PrideFest.

Essay: PrideFest

Jun 5, 2015
Kev Jones / Flickr

Milwaukee's first summer festival gets underway at 3:00 this afternoon. PrideFest is a celebration of LGBT culture and accomplishments.

Essayist Paul Masterson is on the board of Milwaukee Pride, which plans the festival.  He says it's appropriate that Pride Fest is happening on the first anniversary of marriage equality in Wisconsin: