Hundreds attend Beaumont's first gay pride event

For the first time in Beaumont's history, streets filled with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and their supporters, all coming together for a common cause.

Hundreds of people from all over Southeast Texas and beyond marched down Broadway and Orleans streets Saturday for Beaumont Pride 2014.

There were men dressed in drag, some wearing rainbow-colored outfits and some wearing very little clothing at all.

Some held banners and signs reading "Equality" and "Gay rights are civil rights".

Many people brought their children to the event, some kids even holding signs in support of gay rights.

"I want people to know that you can love who you want to love," said Elliott Stinnett of Vidor, who didn't appear to be more than 8 years old.

"We talk a lot about equality and open-mindedness in my house, and I'm trying to show them that there's more than just our little small corner of the world. They wanted to come to Pride, I did not force them," said Elliott's mother Robbi Murphy.

When the walk was over, marchers packed Orleans Street where local businesses had tents set up promoting their services. It was an eclectic crowd as gay and straight people alike joined in on the celebration.

"We just want to show our support for the gay community, and hopefully that's something that Beaumont will start to embrace a little bit more," said Katie Shepley of Beaumont who was there with her husband and their small child.

"It's very important that we all learn to live together and live in peace, live in harmony," said Tisha Flowers, a drag queen who came from Houston.

"As soon as you learn to love one another, I think you'll be alright. I think you'll be better for it," said James Bland of Mauriceville.

"This is something really great for Beaumont, first time ever, I'm really excited that there's so many people who turned out for such a wonderful event," said Ivory Noah of Beaumont.

Beaumont Pride co-organizer Chance Henson said he has never been so happy or so completely exhausted.

"It's been a really amazing and incredible journey, I can't wait to finally be able to sit down and visit with all these incredible people that I've met and all these new friends I've made," Henson said.

There was no sign of any protestors at Saturday's event.


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