Entering any community can be difficult. Entering a small, tight-knit one can be more so. To welcome all LGBTQ people, Nils Davis and Skipper Stovall opened the doors of their business, Bites on Broadway, for a pride meet and greet on May 4.
This marks the second year Davis and Stovall have held the event. They had drag queens and drag kings last year but weren’t able to get the logistics set up for out-of-town performers this year. Instead, local performers and musicians provided the entertainment.
“There’s a pretty big contingent of LGBTQ people in Skagway,” Stovall said.
Davis and Stovall said the event is for people in town to come out and meet other LGBT- and LGBT-friendly members of the community in a safe space.
“We just want people to know there’s a safe place to come, somebody to talk to,” Stovall said. “Sometimes it can be overwhelming out there.”
Stovall said he’s never had anything but acceptance from Skagway residents in his nine years here. He and Davis initially moved here, working for another business and started Bites on Broadway their second year in town.
“I’ve never been as comfortable as I am here, as I have anywhere out there,” Stovall said. “As far as being a gay couple and being living openly and honestly out in front of everybody.”
Davis and Stovall are working with other LGBTQ members in Skagway to try and get at least one pride event going each month throughout the season.
“June is really the official pride month for LGBTQ, but June is impossible here,” Stovall said. “The reason we chose (the date) is because there were two days off (from cruise ships) so we had a better chance of getting more people out and about.”
Stovall is confident there will be more events this year with a pride focus, with the May 4 meet and greet serving as a kick-off point. “There’s more coming” Stovall said.