Pride and Love – “Polk Pride” Showed Us the Two Work Together

Young or old, female or male, trans-sexual and trans-gender too….Polk Pride in Lakeland, Florida will never be forgotten by all of us at Jo’el. The shirts that so many wore, said it all, for a world filled with much uncertainty….”Love is Love!” 

And that’s exactly the way it is. You can’t define it, limit it, be selective with it, deprive some of it while giving it freely to others. With love, there is no such thing as prejudice, judgement, jealousy or unkindness. It should be distributed equally to all. Love is truly……limitless. And, there were plenty of groups present emphasizing their love for the LGBT community.


The Polk Pride event made us “feel the love” for sure as several people, adorned in their rainbow garb, stopped by our booth to show their support for our artisans and designers by buying our fashion and accessories. Even the performing Queens “dressed to the nines” stopped by briefly to model our Nahui Ollin candy wrapper purses from Mexico.

We also had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Meredith Moody, an Art Historian from Orlando who had colorful jewelry on sale, as well as specific bracelets she gives away in support of the victims of the Manchester, England and Orlando Pulse Nightclub tragedies. Moody, who suffers with clinical depression, does therapeutic art work to help her condition. After the Pulse tragedy, where a gunman killed 49 people, Moody said she began making bracelets to give away to friends. “Each one has exactly 49 beads, one for each person we lost.” Moody added, “It helped with my depression by pouring blessings and good energy into every bracelet I was making, and hopefully it helped others too.”

She was educated as an engineer, but returned to school to pursue her passion for art history. She also learned French and went abroad for a year to study art up close and personal in France and Europe. She’s been a professor of art history, and remembers during grad school seeing firsthand how art therapy helped children in a psychiatric ward. Bottom line she said, “Creating is a great healing mechanism.” The many artisans that Jo’el supports are literally rebuilding their lives through their creations, and we know so well that art therapy not just heals, but it even saves live!

I have no doubt that the day spent at Polk Pride acted as a great healing mechanism for many. 

There were mental health and Veteran Administration counselors on hand, several food vendors and even politicians, bankers and realtors.

Without a doubt though, the most touching moment for me all day was meeting this lovely Mother with her transgender child. She’d lovingly accepted and encouraged her child to bravely act, dress and feel what had come naturally since a very young age. For this Mother, the saying goes without saying, “Love is Love!” And their hair designs are awesome too!

For ethical fashion and accessories, visit: Here is Jo’el’s rainbow-colored contribution!


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