Before, during and after Pride Month, conversations on LGBTQ+ rights and history remain relevant in conversations amongst family units. Families walking through the Albuquerque Pride Parade and festival on Saturday, June 11, expressed the importance of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, especially with their children, to ensure that they feel accepted at home.
One Albuquerque parent, Celerah Hewes, brought her young daughter, Evie Rutledge, to Pride to celebrate the community and show her support for the community and current politicians who support LGBTQ+ rights.
“We just came out here to support and enjoy seeing everybody,” Hewes said. “We want to celebrate on the streets and be together, and support kids and make sure that we are standing together as a state, that we are protecting the rights of everybody … I’m so very grateful to have so many (members) of our legislatures here today that are really doing everything they can to protect (LGBTQ+) youth.”
Rutledge, standing hand in hand with her mother with an intricate rainbow-design painted across her cheeks, said that she enjoyed walking with the crowd, her favorite part of the event being “all of the candy.”
Another parent, Scott Rorie, brought his two daughters, Z and R, to the celebration because he wants them to be involved in the community and have a healthy sense of pride.
“It’s always such a fun, positive celebration … (about) having respect and love for everybody’s choices in life and … celebrating diversity,” Rorie said. “We embrace them being whoever they want to be … (tell them) be yourself, be who you feel like being and you're enough the way you are.”
Even still, Rorie understands that his children might not yet understand the concepts he’s working to teach them.
“That’ll be a conversation we have one day,” said Rorie. “Self-love and self-knowledge; they go hand in hand.”
Despite the air of positivity in the crowd, some parents still worry for the safety of their children, especially considering recent events involving gun violence against children. One parent, Chapin Deel, said that the safety of his children “crosses (his) mind about every day now,” especially in crowds and at events.
Nonetheless, Deel was glad to bring his children to the parade and festival to celebrate with him. His grade-school-aged daughter, Lorena Deel, expressed that she was very excited to be in attendance.
“It's been fun,” Lorena said. “Pride means celebrating all the people.”
Though many of the young children present at the parade and festivel are unaware of the continuing sociopolitical and personal risks of sexual and gender expression, they still expressed a vast interest in the issues as well as joy in getting to participate in the event as it were; centered around promoting equity and kindness.
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Natalie Jude is the design director at the Daily Lobo. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @natalaroni