Organizers welcome community to Beaumont's first gay pride event

On a beautiful day you can see American flags waving in the wind near Beaumont's Crockett Street, but on Saturday, June 21, a different kind of flag will be seen along the streets of downtown Beaumont.

Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community will take to the streets for Beaumont Pride, the area's first gay pride event.

"Citizens of Southeast Texas from every conceivable background and socioeconomic class have come out in such generous support of this historic event to make sure it's successful," said Shawn Hare, one of the event's organizers.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. with a walk starting down Broadway Street before making its way onto Orleans Street. Hare says you can expect signs, banners, and cheers... and that anyone can take part.

"We invite everyone to come, it's absolutely an inclusive event not an exclusive event, it's family friendly," said Hare.

The walk will finish in the block of Orleans between Fannin and Forsythe, where an all-day festival will then kick off.
     
Hare says that block of Orleans will be lined with street performers, food vendors, and various booths set up by businesses and organizations. Food trucks will fill the parking lot across from Hotel Beaumont, and more than 15 bands have already been booked to perform at the Orleans Pavilion from noon until 10 p.m.

Not everyone is excited for Beaumont Pride, however, like local preacher Kris Emerson of Dowlen Road Church of Christ.
     
"If we're literally putting on parade things that go against the way God designed us from the beginning, the things he taught, then that's certainly something that we cannot approve of," said Emerson.

Hare says all the feedback they've gotten so far has been positive... And they're ready to celebrate.

"Events like this are really important to highlight relationships in the community and to build new relationships... we don't have any political agenda whatsoever," said Hare.

Hare says there will be plenty of security at the event, with at least 8 police officers working the festival.

For more information on Beaumont Pride, you can visit the event's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BeaumontPride

 


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