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“Born This Way”: Pride in the Borderland  

Marco Hinojosa
“You are loved by PFLAG El Paso” sign signaling the support for the LGBTQ+ community within the borderland.

The LGBTQ+ community across El Paso celebrates Pride month through different events hosted by Sun City Pride, a local organization. “Born This Way” is the 18th annual Pride parade which gathered the LGBTQ+ community to walk across central El Paso to express pride and acceptance for the borderland community.   

The loud ambiance of music, participants cheering, and dancing brought out a beautiful light across the sun city. The historical importance of pride parades is vital to today’s celebration. After the Stonewall, pride parades commemorate this experience and celebrate the equality and freedom there is now.    

“It’s okay to be who you are no matter what you are, no matter what you represent,” said Marissa Viera, a second-year attendee. “My best friend and his wife are allies so like they are here with me supporting in full rainbow color and I love it.” 

Pride in El Paso represents everyone across the borderland. The parade brought out many people from diverse cultural backgrounds to celebrate who they are.   

“We’re the mixing pot, we are the United States. We’re close to New Mexico, we’re right across from Juarez,” Viera said. “We need to be accepting of everybody just the way that we are like with our culture, it’s very important.”    

Pride parades bring in the community to create a safe space every year. After the new legislation of Senate Bill 14; which bans transgender treatments allowing for many to transition, the LGBTQ+ raises their voices to spread awareness.  

Jessica Jimenez is one of the many El Pasoans who celebrated their community.    

“Everyone matters all the time, everybody matters here,” Jimenez said. “It shouldn’t just be one month because we’re here all year round, we exist year-round, we should celebrate ourselves year-round.” 

Pride is not only celebrated by its youth but by all ages. Jose Valles celebrated pride month in his prime time. As he may not be as young, he is still celebrating who he is.   

“We’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” Valles said.   

La Vida Project organization is in Las Cruces, New Mexico was also in attendance to represent what inclusivity means to them.  

“Inclusivity is not just the word it’s more about action,.” said Christina Pointer, a La Vida staff member. “So, I think not just showing up here with your rainbow logos but also showing us that people matter and, in the workplace, and everywhere else.”    

Project Vida has many programs such as art classes, culinary classes, support groups, mental health support, and more. The programs are free, and the organization provides mental health resources that accept insurance such as Medicaid and other insurance.   

Being a true ally by supporting those in your life and even the people in your community is especially important. There are many resources here in the city such as Borderland Rainbow Center, PFLAG El Paso, and even our own UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso) Counseling Center. More information on these resources can be found on Instagram @borderlandrainbowcwenter, @pflagelpaso, and @utep_caps. Celebrating pride is not just in June, it is all year round.  

Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @by_avery_escamilla.

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About the Contributors
Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Multimedia Editor
Marco Hinojosa, Audience and Engagement
Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor for The Prospector. He is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring multimedia journalism with a minor in criminal justice. He plans to broaden his horizons as a journalist and work for a major broadcast company.
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“Born This Way”: Pride in the Borderland