Pride Month comes with the celebration of love with students finding different ways to commemorate the history behind the LGBT community.
For about 50 years, June has been nationally recognized as Pride Month for the LGBT community. The month is a time to celebrate the historical milestones the community has reached as well as unite and encourage further progression.
Year-round, the LGBT community finds ways to make a welcoming environment for one another through gay bars, protests and parades. However, June calls for special events and celebrations like the Ms. Stonewall Warehouse Pageant and the Pride San Antonio Parade to educate the public through dialogue.
Named after the Stonewall riots, Stonewall Warehouse has been the first and only gay bar in San Marcos for four years. The LGBT community has used this business as safe haven and to spread awareness.
Organizations on campus like Bobcat PRIDE, Lambda and Transcend host events at Stonewall, making it the much appreciated hub for the LGBT community. While Stonewall is a gay night club, all sexual orientations are invited as long as they are respectful.
Chitah Daniels Kennedy, Stonewall Warehouse entertainment director, said students from smaller cities may have never been in a gay bar environment and find it very inclusive.
“Without Stonewall Warehouse, we as a community would not have anywhere to meet as a group,” Kennedy said. “It’s more than just a night club. It’s a cause and community center because there is no other place in San Marcos that is LGBTQ.”
The Ms. Stonewall Warehouse Pageant will be hosted June 29 for a third year in a row. It is held for the women who have been supporting the venue throughout the year, representing the bar and what it stands for. The pageant is traditionally held a few days after the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
The Pride San Antonio Bigger Than Texas Parade and Festival will take place June 30, the same weekend as the pageant. Pride San Antonio has been around since 2004 and produces several events through the year.
The Pride San Antonio Parade and Festival is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the traditional high heel race at 8:45 p.m. The parade kicks off at 9 p.m. to end the night. All charges benefit local nonprofits such as B.E.A.T AIDS.
Pride San Antonio is a nonprofit organization fortunate enough to have many volunteers organize and facilitate community needs and events. Volunteers like James Poindexter, secretary of Pride San Antonio and Texas State alum, said there is room for more helpers.
“The parade is a chance to show the diversity of our community to the world for everyone to see with all the different organizations and supporters,” Poindexter said. “Closeted people are going to see this is all normalized and this is the celebration of living your true self.”
Sometimes people get too caught up with busy schedules to participate in fun events. However, a way to participate in Pride Month is to welcome discussion regarding the LGBT community.
Max Estudillo, theater education senior, is celebrating June by interacting in personal dialogues and discussions about what this month means to him: tolerance and acceptance.
“We have to take a step back and see how far we have come as a society to accept the LGBT community as an asset to our beautiful and diverse country,” Estudillo said. “I engage with the people I am close with and even when they don’t understand, you still have to be that voice.”
The LGBT community has fought to normalize free expression. Now there is a greater acceptance for the community, there is cause for celebration.
Between pageants, parades and dialogues, each LGBT celebration brings people together and leads toward the path of progression.