Pride, the most notable and widespread LGBTQIA event across the world, is making its debut in San Marcos September 5-7 to celebrate the city’s rapidly diversifying population.
The Pride San Marcos coordinator, Silvia Sandoval, is a longtime supporter of increasing city LGBTQIA event visibility. Sandoval said San Marcos is the perfect location for a pride event because it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.
“We have a large LGBT community that could use the recognition,” Sandoval said.
While most national Pride celebrations take place between the months of June and July, Sandoval wanted to wait to hold the event until all the students were back to fully participate because Texas State is a large part of the San Marcos community.
Sandoval’s organizational team is small but dedicated to making the celebration all it can be. She’s working with Albert Vargas, president of the non-profit organization Together for a Cause, to help get sponsors for the event.
Christi Van Cartier will kick off the celebration Sept. 5 by hosting a Rainbow Night drag show at Fullmoon Saloon. A parade through the city will begin Sept. 6, at the Hays County Courthouse grounds. Booth vendors will also be present. Later that night, Van Cartier will host another show, this one at the VFW post off Hunter Road, with the help of DJs Skills and Serrot. The weekend celebration will conclude Sept. 7 with a gathering at Rio Vista Park.
Psychology senior Kelly Doyle said she hopes the community supports the event and is inclusive to all types of sexual and gender identities.
“Pride is my ability to own my intersecting identities,” Doyle said. “Pride is about fighting for community and supporting other marginalized identities as well as the love I have for the people in my community.”
Vickie O’Dell, another Texas State student, said Pride is her chance to affirm her peers.
“It’s celebrating and accepting our difference, standing together and helping each other find our voices by increasing visibility of the LGBTQIA community and their allies,” she said.
Van Cartier agrees, saying that she hopes the celebration will impact the community by showing acceptance.
“We aren’t just making this a celebration of ‘gay pride,’” Van Cartier said. “We want to show people that you can have pride in yourself no matter how you were born.”
Sandoval said to her, Pride isn’t just an annual celebration but rather “a movement for change and a step towards equality.”