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Saturday , October 20 2018
Home | News | Gallery+Story: Sun City Glows for Pride Parade, Festival Saturday

Gallery+Story: Sun City Glows for Pride Parade, Festival Saturday

El Paso came out and showed not only pride in who we are individually and as a community, but support to those who could be victimized because of who they love, how they dress, or who they are. Saturday was the El Paso Pride Parade and Pride Festival.

Nationally, June is National Pride Month. This year, El Paso Pride put on a show to beat all shows.

There were colors, cheers, happiness, and unity. There was talk of support, growth, and an ever-growing acceptance.

Father Justin Gibson, rector of St. Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church spoke with me about the importance of the day’s events, and why the Episcopal Church needs to be involved.

“The Episcopal Church,” said Fr. Gibson, “has made the stance that they are radically inclusive.”

In fact, St. Francis on the Hill had a split, years back, between progressive members of the church and those who were more conservative.

“It’s a way for us to say the Church loves all, welcomes all, and is united in this predicament,” Fr. Gibson said of the LGBTQ movement.

“Find a community that can love and accept you as you are. Hopefully, if you are religious, I think there are some good communities who can help you,” Fr. Gibson said as a final thought. “Even if you are not religious, there are wonderful communities out there who will accept you and support you.”

Jowe, Mr. El Paso Sun City Pride 2018 said that today’s event is important in that it allows self-expression.

“It also makes the whole community aware of our presence,” says Jowe, “but also of the importance of our presence, and who we are, and the importance of acceptance.”

“For some reason, people seem to think that pride is being flamboyant, be out there, be colorful,” he said. “It’s not just that; it’s us being able to express ourselves. But, it’s also the other end of it: being accepted. Pride wouldn’t be what it is if people were not accepting of who we are.”

Victor Garcia, the parade co-director had this to say, “It shows that we are here in the community, that we are still part of it. It also shows the backing the LBGT++ community has here in El Paso.”

That support that backing is far-reaching. There were individuals from many El Paso businesses showing their pride and support. There were members of the local community cheering everyone on as they proudly marched down Montana Street towards Mesa and Downtown.

Even members of the El Paso Police Department were there, showing their support above and beyond just crowd control.

Velo, one of the performers who traveled to El Paso to sing, and shows support was not shy in expressing why events such as Sun City Pride are important.

“It’s about unity,” he said. “It’s about family. It’s about inclusiveness, respect. It brings all different walks of life together.”
I also caught up with Journey, a past contestant on American Idol.

“I’m part of this because I’ve been part of the LGBT community for as long as I can remember,” said Journey. “Just to come out and support with music, which is the universal language, and to represent people who represent the same thing I do means the world to me. I want to show them that I have love to give, for them, always.”

Saturday was amazing.

It was a day filled with love, with acceptance of who you are, who you want to be. It was a day, a movement embraced by everyone in attendance- LGBT, straight, confused, or questioning, all were welcome and shown the same amount of love.

Photo gallery by Chantilly L. Bolgar, Photographer & Steven Cottingham, El Paso Herald-Post Photographer

About Steven Cottingham

Steven Cottingham is an artist, poet (haiku, tanka, senryu) as well as a photographer. Growing up, he wanted to be a columnist, as well as photojournalist. Life, and poor decision, led him down a different path. Today, Steven is chasing those dreams. He is currently working on his next book, as well as starting a small poetry journal. You may visit Steven, online, at www.StevenCottinghamPhotography.com

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5 comments

  1. While you clowns have the right to be as queer as a six dollar bill, why do you need to have a parade about it?

    • Why do Veterans have parades? Why do different community groups have parades? Why do churches have parades?

      Mikey, if that is even your real name, you need a life. If you don’t want to show support for people of a different lifestyle, at least keep your hateful, hurtful opinion to yourself. You do have choices:

      You have the choice to ignore the parade.

      You have the choice to not support the LGBT COMMUNITY.

      You also have the choice to keep your comments to yourself. So, please, do just that.

      • Or you’ll do what?

      • $1.60 A Week, Trump Tax Cut Whiner!

        Mikey AKA MAD MIKE 272 is nothing more than a BIGOT! a republican White Nationalist Supremacist! Ku Klux Klan,Alt-Right, Fascist Racist WHITE STOOGE TRUMPTURD CLOWN! White Right Privilege! Tiki Torch Bearer!
        Not to mention a Fort Bliss DEPLORABLE REJECT!
        he thinks that donald trump has his back.
        $1.60 a week trump tax cut whiner!!!

    • Mikey, your question is one of ignorance. I’m sorry, that is the only way I can view anyone who asks why the LGBT++ community holds Pride Parades.

      Part of what I was doing, while covering the Parade was speak with people, ask questions, find out why it is important that such events are held at all. I’ve sure you read the quotes in the article, now let me give you the ones that didn’t make it into the original piece. Maybe, just maybe, it will help you understand just a bit more.

      “We need to be seen, we need for people to know we are here,” said Arturo Reyes. “We need to stand up for our rights. We think there is some equality, but we are going backwards on rights.”

      Arturo is right. If you look around and take a moment to consider todays Supreme Court decision from the Colorado baker case, you will see why it’s important.

      We are regressing as a society. We are taking this “America First” rhetoric to a very dark place that seems to only include white Christians and no one else. I’ve sure this is the America you long to live in, but it is not the reality for millions of Americans.

      “Everything is changing,” said Susan. “We are being forgotten. It’s like we aren’t even considered American in some places!”

      Susan is right. She is so very right. The LGBT++ community is suddenly finding themselves, in more than a few venues, marginalized. We are very quickly finding ourselves using the Bible as a litmus test as to what is acceptable, and what is not. That, my friend, is something I don’t think Jesus would tolerate.

      So, your question, why must there be such parades? Because attitudes in this country are regressing. Beliefs are changing, and becoming less inclusive, and no one can allow that to happen.

      Michelle Meow, who organized a Pride Parade in San Francisco said it this way, “The pride celebration is a platform for dialogue to happen.”

      Maybe, just maybe, you need to sit down with someone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, anything, and have a conversation. Maybe you should try wearing their shoes for a bit, as the saying goes (Walk a mile in their shoes) and see just how hard it can be to be themselves. After that, maybe you will be less inclined to make asinine statements such as your comment to my article.

      Mikey, I’ll even set it up for you. Can you email me at steven@stillgoingsomewhere.com and I’ll get some people together and you can have that discussion.

      Steven Cottingham

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