Albuquerque joined a national celebration of LGBTQ pride during Saturday’s 41st annual Albuquerque Pridefest.
Pridefest kicks off every year with a parade where different groups and organizations create displays and floats that represent and unite the LGBTQ community.
Notably, several senatorial candidates and corporate representatives were also in attendance.
Because of safety concerns associated with the ART construction on the parade’s usual route down Central, it instead followed Lomas from Washington to San Pedro.
The event then continued at the Expo New Mexico fairgrounds, where thousands gathered to celebrate the LGBTQ community with performances, vendors, and various attractions.
The UNM LGBTQ Resource Center featured a float in the parade, and many UNM students attended the festival.
UNM student Rocky Cordova attended the event and weighed in on why it was important.
“I attended Pridefest because for me it is more than a fun parade and a thing to do,” Cordova said. “It is the history of the LGBTQ community, and it represents the struggle of a long oppressed group of people who lived their lives fighting for what is right.”
Mercedes Vigil and Sarah Romero, both UNM students, attended Pridefest together to celebrate their relationship and others like it.
“We think it’s so important to show the LQTBQ community that Albuquerque cares and that, especially during given political conditions, there are resources and a large group of people who are like-minded and loving,” Vigil said. “Pridefest is an annual tradition that allows a generally suppressed community to be able to come together and have a day of fun, and where they can be around others who appreciate them for all that they are.”
Opposition to such events still exist in Albuquerque and around the country. Some people express moral opposition to the LGBTQ community, while others simply feel as though pride events are not necessary or that they foster exclusivity. Cordova said he feels they are still important for the LGBTQ movement.
“Events like this are important so that we never forget where we came from and so that we don’t make the same mistakes,” he said. “These events can also be used to teach all people young and old that it is okay to love yourself for who you are. It is also important to remember that there are fights in the LGBTQ community that are ongoing.”
Gabriella Rivera is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @gabbychlamps.