Last Saturday, an event was held for the members of the LGBTQ+ community in Downtown Modesto. This was an opportunity for the larger Modesto community to engage with the LGBTQ+ community and have fun at the same time..
Zo Hayes, Pride Community Organizer, was really excited about making this event happen, “The fact that our community can come together like this and band together, for love, for each other, instead of hate is really important to us.”
Some young adults participating in this event were very excited to attend the festival. Kai Ruppel (sophomore, Biology) said “I’m excited,... I’ve been here twice in a row.” Gerarda Moreno (sophomore, Ethnic Studies) said that this was the first time attending this event. “I feel accepted by the community by letting this kind of event happen,” Moreno said.
DJ-Dunn West, LGBTQ+ volunteer, thought the event was very interesting. “Well, just being at pride is like being with my whole family.” Dunn West said.
The entire festival has a wide range of booths from LGBTQ+ small businesses to high school LGBTQ+ club organizations, public library services, college mentorship program, and a wide range of activities for the whole local community.
Johansen High School Gay-Straight Alliance had an fundraising booth. Riley Cavazos, high school student and Club President of Johansen GSA, explained that they sell cupcakes, face paintings, paintings, cupcakes, bracelets and cookies to raise funds for their club.
High school student Dylan Seitzer, Vice President of Johansen GSA, thought that having a booth in Downtown is a great way to embrace the time of acceptance. Seitzer stated that it strengthens the local community to support LGBT rights.
Turlock High School Gay-Straight Alliance held an booth with free drawings for High School students to encourage students to embrace acceptance and friendship.
Turlock High student, Kayden Jacob, Media Specialist for THS GSA said, “I do believe that we are going to have more community effort especially kids who are not afraid to either come out of the closet or support friends who are part of the Queer community. ”
The LGBTQ+ mentorship program was offered to college students of Stan State. Matthew Moberly, Professor in English, explained that the program is to bring LGBTQ+ students connections to LGBTQ+ faculty to bring a sense of belonging.
“It’s an important program that I wish we had I was a student in Stanislaus.” Moberly said.
Love Evolution had a booth at the event. Roger Lobes (senior, Psychology) Vice President of Love Evolution, stated that the club decorates a banner every year to remember the events they were hosting. “We’re just have people come by and ask them if they want to paint their hand and put it on our table cloth.” Lobes said.
The event embraces the LGBTQ+ Culture while also celebrating young students from high school and college experiencing all backgrounds and identities of the LGBTQ+ community.