Why Pride Fests matter

This evening, the Grand Junction City Council will proclaim May 2-8 as Pride Week. This is the fifth year with a local Pride Fest, but the first time the city will honor the event with a proclamation. The mother of Western Colorado Pride Fest’s founder hopes there are lots of friends with cameras in council chambers because she wants pictures. She expects that tears of joy will prevent her from focusing her own camera when she sees her son honored in his hometown.

Organizers of this annual event work hard to make it informative, fun, and family friendly. Yes, family friendly. The LGBTQ community is full of people living ordinary American lives, with jobs, mortgages, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and dreams.

Pride Fests have been held in communities across America for over 40 years. According to an “American Experience” (TV show), the first Pride Fest was held in New York in 1970, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. A popular gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, was raided, triggering a nearly one week-long uprising involving young people and New York City police.

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