“Pride allows you to be you” is the universal message at Pride Parade 

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“Pride allows you to be you” is the universal message at Pride Parade 

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Alejandra Molina

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Alejandra Molina

Alejandra Molina

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Valerie Fredrick, Contributor

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As marchers and organizers waited for their turn to wave to the crowds that gathered to celebrate the 12th annual Pride Parade on Saturday, feelings of joy and camaraderie were shared amongst old friends and strangers alike. 

A couple chatting intimately were confused for lovers or life-long friends the entire day, but they just met that morning, connecting instantly over their shared passion for the LGBTQ+ community. “Pride always gives us the opportunity to make new friends,” they said before joining the procession.

 

For many young people, this was their first Pride Parade and the emotions amongst this crowd ranged from excitement to anxiety about what to expect from this yearly celebration.

 A young lesbian who recently moved from Missouri said that she was happy to see so much diversity at the parade and the positive energy surrounding her made her feel “less scared” about making El Paso her new home. 

A group of young queer girls were visibly nervous about marching in the parade for the first time but knew the significance of what they were doing for the community. Pride “allows you to be you” was the message they carried with them to the crowds that were eager to cheer them on. Some of the youngest marchers were those in strollers, fully awake and absorbing the electricity around them.

 

The aforementioned crowds were diverse;  there were people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, ages and capabilities. A particular touching scene was an elderly lady standing outside with her family waving enthusiastically at the marchers. Gloria does not speak English, but her family said, “she believes that everyone is equal”. As many elderly people as there were in attendance, there were just as many children shouting happily alongside the adults and dancing to anthems such as Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”. 

 

A talking point amongst some attendees was a lack of promotion of this year’s parade theme, “Stonewall 50”. The posters and flyers advertising the parade mentioned that this year’s Pride installment would be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, but while there were posters acknowledging the anniversary and a vehicle moving through the parade with a sign reading “Remember Stonewall was a riot!”, several people were left wondering why there wasn’t an extensive parade tribute for that piece of LGBTQ+ history. 

 

Still, as the 2019 Pride Parade came to an end, onlookers dispersed with glad and grateful hearts. A mom of a gay son said she cried throughout the whole parade, her first, because “everyone was just so happy. I can’t wait to come back next year”.      

 

   

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