Thousands of LGBTQ+ people and allies took to the streets of Atlanta on Sunday to celebrate the city’s annual Pride event, one of the largest in the U.S. South. Among the throngs of beautiful queer people, happy gays, and trans people committing acts of revelry, two figures stood out: politician Stacey Abrams and my new favorite human being, ASL interpreter David Cowan.
Cowan has been working as an ASL interpreter with the organization since 2000, and in 2017, he became the first Deaf person to be named Grand Marshal of Atlanta Pride. But this was a special breakout year for Cowan, as model and activist Nyle DiMarco posted a video of him signing at a Pride concert on Monday morning.
In a tweet, DiMarco says the interpreter is pure fire — and he isn’t wrong! In a nearly minute-long video posted by the former America’s Next Top Model winner, Cowan rocks out and gets his life while interpreting Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied” and dancing for the crowd. Cowen is electrifying with his Santa Clause daddy beard and fully-committed moves. You get it, Santa Daddy!
In a 2017 interview, Cowen talked about his love for Atlanta’s thriving Deaf LGBTQ+ community
“I want to thank the [LGBTQ+] community in Atlanta for allowing me to bridge the communication between hearing people and the Deaf [LGBTQ+] people,” he told the local LGBTQ+ publication Georgia Voice. “It’s been my passion to make all of our Deaf [LGBTQ+] feel welcome and included in all community events in Atlanta.”
Cowan was joined on Sunday by Abrams, who rose to prominence when she ran against Republican Brian Kent for governor in 2018. She was the first Black woman to get a major party’s nomination for governor, which honestly, it’s bonkers it took that long! Abrams narrowly lost that campaign but has since become a mainstay in progressive Democtratic politics, serving as named Grand Marshal of the parade.
Abrams was all smiles over the weekend as she waved an LGBTQ+ Pride flag and a trans flag.
People like Cowen and Abrams are working hard to make the South a better place for marginalized communities, and with stars like these on hand, Atlanta Pride was shining brighter than ever before.