Meet Matt Runyan, Cupid’s Undie Run enthusiast, and volunteer board member for Pride St. Louis. He’s here to break down what’s what this Pride month!
So, Matt, what do you enjoy most about being a volunteer on the board for Pride St. Louis?
I enjoy the relationship that I have built with the Pride St. Louis community and fellow board members. Having been a part of Pride St. Louis Board of Directors for a little under a year, I’d say the thing I enjoy most is being there for the community, and being a resource to those in need.
A true community member at heart! Is that what brought you to Cupid’s Undie Run?
Well, I got involved with Cupid’s Undie Run in December of 2019. I was asked by Saint Louis event director, Todd Garten, to participate in caroling in my underwear. After I participated in that event, I was asked to help sell jello shots with Colin Keller, another Saint Louis event director, in a gay bar. After doing both, I was quickly acclimated to attending events and helping out in Cupid’s-focused events.
Attending said events in just my underwear was a little scary, to be honest. I grew up in a house where we believed that no one should see you in your underwear and modesty was the best policy. Now, I have no issue stripping down to my underwear for charity! The bond I’ve since created with this group feels like family. I love the Cupid’s Undie Run STL team!
Any favorite Cupid’s Undie Run memories?
My favorite Cupid’s Undie Run memory would be seeing everyone band together this year, despite the pandemic making the run virtual, and still raising money for NF no matter the circumstances.
Since it’s Pride month, what does Pride mean to you?
Pride means that you are able to celebrate who you are. I am able to feel good and worthy about the person I am. It means not being ashamed of yourself.
Can you give us the inside scoop on the Pride events STL has planned this month?
Pride St. Louis has sadly postponed the Festival for 2021. However, we are participating in a Workout of the Day (WOD) CrossFit event on June 12th, 2021, and participating in a Drag Show Brunch at Ballpark Village on June 13th, 2021. We will also have a big announcement coming out on June 14th!
We can hardly wait for the big announcement on June 14! Speaking of Pride STL, what has your experience been like being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community in Missouri?
My experience with being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community in St. Louis specifically has overall been good. Personally, I have never had anything negative happen to me for being gay, although I have had people be surprised when they find out about my sexual orientation. I feel blessed to have had a better experience than others.
What are your hopes for the LGBTQIA+ community this year?
My hope for the LGBTQIA+ community is that we collaborate to be one family. I know that it’s a lofty goal, as it’s just so hard to reach a community that is so divided.
Even though Pride St. Louis has postponed their 2021 Festival, there are still many ways to get involved within the community this summer and year-round. Visit pridestl.org for more information.
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