In June 2018, 12-year-old Parker Drapeau (then called Claire) was surprised to find that there was no local Pride parade in Anne Arundel County.
Parker wanted to let all LGBTQ+ kids know that they are loved and accepted, even if they might not always feel that way at home or school. His idea was to buy pride stickers and goodies to hand out to people to lend support to the LGBTQ+ community.
Parker and his mom decided on downtown Annapolis as a good spot to do this, and she posted on social media to see if anyone wanted to join them.
The mayor caught wind of Parker’s idea, and asked if he could join them. Parker became the driving force behind the first ever “Pride Walk” in Annapolis that summer, and soon he and Mayor Gavin Buckley led a crowd of more than 50 LGBTQ+ people and allies up Main Street, carrying a pride flag and handing out pride stickers to passersby. They literally stopped traffic (with the city’s blessing).
“People saw us walking up the street and asked ‘What’s this’?” Parker’s mom, Chrissy Rey, said, “and we told them it was a Pride Walk, and they just started walking with us!”
Parker was then invited to be a Grand Marshal at the first Annapolis Pride Parade in June 2019, having inspired the local Annapolis Pride group to organize a major event in Annapolis. Claire wants to let all LGBTQ+ kids know that they are loved and accepted, even if they might not always feel that way at home or school.