This year's Boise Pride Week theme is "We are you, we are Idaho."
Keith Phillips, executive director of Boise Pride, put it like this: "We aren't different people in the midst of everyone else. We're born and raised here in Idaho. We are just as Idahoan as anyone else is."
The Pride celebration this year includes a singing competition called Boise Voice Xtravaganza, taking place Thursday, June 14, at Humpin' Hannah's. It is the rebranding of past years' event Queer Idol.
Registration to sing in the competition begins at 7:30 p.m. and costs $10. The show begins at 8 p.m. General admission costs $5, with a $20 VIP option available. The finalists of this year's Voice Xtravaganza will perform on the main stage at the Pride Festival Saturday, June 16, in Ann Morrison Park.
Phillips said the energy and enthusiasm for this year's Pride events has increased thanks to President Barack Obama's declaration supporting same-sex marriage and the end of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
"As our issues have gone more mainstream ... people realize this doesn't just happen in New York or San Francisco, but everywhere and that there's thousands of members in the [LGBT] community right here in the Treasure Valley," Phillips said.
Phillips also hopes to gain funding from local companies rather than relying entirely on national organizations and advocacy groups. With more funding, he said, Boise Pride could focus on being active in other ways beyond holding the festival every June. See a listing of events on Page 22.