LGBTQI community come together for ‘Queer Solidarity March’ in Downtown El Paso

Protesters gathered in Cleveland Square Park for the “Queer Solidarity March” through Downtown El Paso Saturday night June 14 for a peaceful protest against police brutality and systematic racism. With a group of about 100 participants, the protesters brought a considerable amount of energy and enthusiasm to their cause.  

“The local queer community wanted to show that we stand in solidarity with the Black and Black Lives Matter community,” said Joshua Yrrobali the organizer of the protest. “Many times, when people speak of black lives matter, many forget that black trans lives are a part of that conversation. We will continue to be out here until we get justice. Queerness is in every community.” 

Starting at the park, the protesters marched down Franklin Street, utilizing the sidewalks as they walked. Various protesters held up signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “Trans Lives Matter” and multiple signs of support for the LGBTQI community. Echoing previous marches in El Paso and around the country, there were many signs denouncing police brutality. “Black Lives Matter” was a constant chant as well as “Queer Lives Matter,” along with the names of multiple black and trans victims of violence including Breonna Taylor who died from police gunfire. 

For the event, there was no police presence outside of one officer that was inquiring what the activity was, as the protest went without any incidents. At one point, when the rally reached pride Square on Stanton Street, the group stopped and danced to various songs. The crowd went from voguing to a mass line dance to the song “The Cupid Shuffle.”  

As the crowd then moved to San Jacinto Plaza, they gathered there for more chants and speeches in support of the LGBTQI and black communities. 

The march ended back where it began as the group all say quiet for eight minutes and 46 seconds in a circle reflecting on the horrific death of George Floyd, who had a knee on his neck for that amount of time. 

Marie Salette Ontiveros and Michael Cuviello may be reached at [email protected]