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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pride in the desert

The+City+of+Tucson+walks+in+this+year%E2%80%99s+Tucson+Pride+Parade+sponsored+by+SAAF+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+29%2C+at+Armory+Park.+Many+floats+promoting+businesses%2C+organizations+and+more+were+present+at+the+event.
Ben Tisdale
The City of Tucson walks in this year’s Tucson Pride Parade sponsored by SAAF on Friday, Sept. 29, at Armory Park. Many floats promoting businesses, organizations and more were present at the event.

On Friday, Sept. 29, the  Tucson Pride Parade, sponsored by the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, took place at Armory Park. The event included many organizations, such as the City of Tucson, Two-Spirit of Tucson, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, the Tucson Police Department and more.

The event gave many an opportunity to take pride in who they are and a community to express it. 

Jonathan Whittmann, an attendee who came to the event, said, “I’m part of the LGBTQ+ community and want to show my support as well and want to have a good time.” 

Those who attended were able to express themselves and show this off in public. 

The event had Grand Marshal Lavina Tomer and included a long walk through Stone Avenue, ending on Armory Park. There was support from local sponsors, including local businesses like HighWire Tucson, Dante’s Fire, Sexy Grilled Cheese and Salad Company and large companies like Corona, AARP Arizona, Smirnoff and State Farm

The groups that took part in the event included people walking, cars, floats, signs, flyers, many individuals wearing matching shirts and, of course, many rainbows. 

The event was a great place for many to have pride. Chris Francis, an attendee, said pride is a “community gathering, everybody showing their support for the LGBTQ+ members of the community and just showing support and […] solidarity together as a community.”

“Pride is living your truth, living as you are, helping other people who are marginalized as well,” Whittmann said. 

Two people stand on a float in this year’s Tucson Pride Parade sponsored by SAAF on Friday, Sept. 29, at Armory Park. Many floats promoting businesses, organizations and more were present at the event. (Ben Tisdale)

Events like the Pride Parade help to give people spaces to show pride in who they are.

“It’s important to show your support to learn more about other organizations, or know places in the community are showing their presence [to be] supportive of the community,” Francis said. 

These events help give marginalized groups a platform. “There is a lot of backlash towards the LGBTQ+ community today, so just showing up and being a part of the group means a lot to me and a lot of people here,” Whittmann said.

Today in Arizona, many different laws have been put in place restricting LGBTQ+ rights and harming the future of many young queer students. From bills that were recently passed in the Arizona Senate, like SB 1001, which “makes it illegal for teachers and other school personnel to respect the pronouns of a trans or non-binary student without written parental permission,” and bills like SB 1005, which “leave schools open to the threat of litigation for providing supportive and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ students.” 

The LGBTQ+ community is continually facing challenges. With events like the Pride Parade, LGBTQ+ issues are getting more representation.

This event was also a fun time for many. “People should go because it’s a fun activity, you get to learn more about other organizations and it’s a good time to get together with friends and loved ones and to have a good time,” Francis said.

The Pride Parade went off without a hitch and provided people with the opportunity to express themselves and enjoy each other’s company. The many enthusiastic rainbows and smiles made the evening a fun time for all.


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