Equality Fest takes over Downtown Beaumont as dozens attend

Several Southeast Texans taking over downtown Beaumont for Equality Fest 2017.

BEAUMONT - Unity, pride, and love making its way through Downtown Beaumont on Sunday for Equality Fest 2017.

“You need to reach out to everyone and spread the love and light as much as possible!” said Olivia Gardner.

The festival hosted by the Beaumont Chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays as well as other LGBTQ community members, wanted to celebrate Equality Day with the help of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Dozens gathered outside The Publicity nightclub in Downtown Beaumont and marched all the way to Crockett Street on Sunday.

“My slogan in life is one county one community. So I think the fact that we are out here having a good time, spreading the word about recruiting and what it takes to be a good employee for the sheriff’s department or a good citizen or a good citizen of Jefferson County, is what today is all about.” Said Sheriff Zena Stephens.

Equality Fest organizer, Payshenz Nagashima, told 12News he was happy to have Jefferson County deputies join the fun even bringing their SWAT truck to the fest.

“We think it’s absolutely wonderful to have them out here and we want the community to engage and we want them to engage with us this is great.” Said Nagashima.

Beaumont Equality Fest also took place nearly a year after the deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando where 49 people were killed, most of them part of the LGBTQ community.

“This match for equality it’s about unity and pride and we are showing that a year later this did not destroy us. We are still unified and kept getting stronger.” Nagashima said. 

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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