This weekend, it’s estimated that more than 35,000 people from around the country have descended on Dallas for the annual Gay Pride Festival and Parade.
“It’s lots of people, lots of fun, lots of rainbows,” Jaron Turnbow said with a smile. Turnbow, a Tarrant County native, has been a volunteer for Dallas Pride for 12 years.
“I was 21 when I first started helping with pride,” he said. “We are getting more acceptance and more people on our side because it’s not just gay people who come to the event. It’s our allies. It’s our parents. It’s our friends.” While speaking about the amount of love he sees at Pride brought tears to his eyes.
“Pride means to me being out and being who I am and not being scared anymore; especially with my family,” he said. The local gay community said it’s been a tough year filled with a number of highs, lows and challenges.
One of the highs this year came from the news that local Boy Scout troops were inviting transgender youth to join, and one of the biggest lows in the community is the uncertainty of the future of transgender military service. Another challenge is the ever present debate surrounding the Bathroom Bill. “It’s nice to see how far we have come, but also shows we have a long way to go still in acceptance and laws to protect us,” Turnbow said. The theme this year is “Stand up, Speak Out.”
“It’s emotional when I drive down the parade route and see all these families and their kids and everybody’s cheering for us,” he smiled through tears.
-source via nbcdfw.com