June is a significant month for the LGBT community.
Many cities across the country and world commemorate pride with a parade to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
On Saturday, 15,000 people are expected to gather at the Capitol Mall for this year’s Sacramento Pride events.
For 33 years, Sacramento has joined the festivities to remember a critical moment in LGBT history: The Stonewall Riots of New York City. The riots happened in June 1969 when demonstrators showed police how they felt about a raid at the Stonewall Inn, the only gay bar in NYC that allowed dancing.
The riots became known as the most important event in the modern fight for LGBT rights.
Since then, visibility and acceptance of the community has grown – so pride celebrations usually include parades and festivals.
“It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come, it’s a celebration of where we are today and the things we’ve been able to achieve,” David Heitstuman, executive director of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, said. “It’s also an opportunity to work with and visit different nonprofits that can activate you for the future.”
In recent years, Sacramento pride festivities hasn't included a march, but the current political climate has some feeling anxious about the future of LGBT rights — like the right to use the bathroom of the gender of which you identify.
“There are so many different communities that are under attack with the issues that are happening at the federal level that it was an important opportunity for us to bring people together and demonstrate the importance of diversity, inclusion and unity in our community,” Heitstuman said.
This year’s parade and festival will begin with a march for equality to bring attention to these issues. While organizers say more progress needs to be made, there is still much to celebrate at Sacramento Pride.
The march begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3, which is followed by the parade and festival at the Capitol Mall at 11 a.m. For more information, visit www.sacramentopride.org