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Power and Pride on Parade: El Paso Celebrates the end of Pride Month

Jorge Guajardo
Love is POWER is displayed vibrantly by supporters of Pride.

The harsh El Paso heat couldn’t keep the good vibes from flowing as the annual Pride Parade marched along downtown during the last weekend in June. For 19 years, the Pride Parade has given El Pasoans a chance to freely celebrate and embrace who they are.

Abraham Vazquez, who has been participating in the parade since it started, thought the parade this year showed the strides it has made since it started years ago.

“Around 20 years ago, I remember my first pride parade in El Paso,Vazquez said.It was a humble parade, mostly people just sitting in the back of decorated trucks. I don’t think it was longer than 15 to 20 minutes.”

As the parade continues to grow, it is increasingly obvious that there are many more who attend as a part of the community or as allies. Though the LGTBQ+ community has faced continuous challenges like increased conservative backlash towards them, and repeated stripping of rights by the supreme court, the parade continues to grow.

While even attracting businesses, both local and corporate, the parade has pulled in establishments to support the LGBTQ+ community’s plight in obtaining equal standing on a social level in the United States.

Companies like ADP, Bank of America, Spectrum, T-Mobile and Walgreens all proudly displayed their support for the community by participating in the parade. Even the United States Army sent their message of support by sending members of the 1st Armored Division’s color guard to lead the parade.

“That’s not something you would have seen 20 years ago,” Vazquez said regarding the participation of businesses in the parade.

As the parade grows in both impact and attendance, it may be easy to lose sight of the message behind the smiling faces of people on trucks and floats.

Pride is about celebrating diversity. At these parades, one wants to see representation of the different types of members, not just of the LGBTQ+ community, but members of the community as a whole.

“Today we saw straight allies, people of color, trans people, it’s really a time to come together and celebrate,” Vazquez said. “The parade should always remind us of how far we’ve come from the Stonewall riots in 1969, to marriage equality in 2015. We celebrate the last 55 years which have been very transformative for the LGBTQ+ community.”

That is what Pride, and the parade are for, creating and building a community where people can come together and celebrate their different identities without fear of judgement.

As for the trajectory of the El Paso Pride Parade Vazquez was hopeful that it would continue its upward trend.

“I just want to see consistency of growth from the parade. I noticed some of the groups that participated in the past were missing this year. If everyone returned every year, I could only imagine how much bigger the parade could get, but I’m just being picky,” Vazquez said. “I do feel though that maybe the parade could do better by moving the parade to the evening, because El Paso summers are just so brutal. I could see a move like that brining even more attendees to support.”  

Jorge Guajardo is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jorge Guajardo
Jorge Guajardo, Sports Editor
Jorge Ian Guajardo, is 30 years old and born and raised in El Paso. He is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English rhetoric. He is the sports editor for The Prospector looking to lay the foundation for a long and successful career in journalism once he graduates.
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