NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – As Pride Month comes to an end, a local distillery is making sure their community feels celebrated.
Happy Raptor Distilling hosted their second annual Pride Art Market over the weekend.
“It is Pride all year round here at Happy Raptor, but these two days of the weekend, we specifically really like to focus on our queer community and just really give them the support that they definitely need, especially our local, local community,” said April Lawton, the director of operations at Happy Raptor Distilling.
Guests enjoyed live music while sipping cocktails and browsing the work of different local artists.
“I feel appreciated. I feel grateful to be here,” said acrylic abstract artist Jessica Joseph. “The fact that they can hold such a safe space for us is wonderful to me.”
Happy Raptor employees say one of their missions is to promote inclusivity and representation.
“Pride Month for us is you’re proud to be here, but it’s like, we’re the Happy Raptor, and this feels like the happiest time of the year for us because it is just bright, it’s vibrant, it’s everything we stand for,” said Lawton.
According to Joseph, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Pride Month, and you don’t have to identify as LGBTQ+ to do so.
“Be your most authentic self; that’s how you can celebrate,” said Joseph. “And also, your queer friends, give them money, celebrate them always, make them feel safe and comfortable wherever they go.”
Proceeds from today’s market will go to Transcending Women, a local non-profit organization that provides legal services and advocacy for women.