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OUTwest Lubbock remind public that June is PRIDE Month

LUBBOCK – OUTwest Lubbock, the virtual community resource center for LGBTQ+ and Ally community on the South Plains, announces a letter-writing campaign called the PRIDE Proclamation. In the same spirit of last year’s request and the peaceful Rainbow Sit-in, we ask for our city leadership to stand with us and sponsor an official proclamation to recognize June 2024 as Pride Month in Lubbock, TX.

The objective of the PRIDE Proclamation is; 1.) To encourage members of the Lubbock City Council to issue an Official Proclamation declaring June as Pride Month, 2.) To recognize the broad cultural and entrepreneurial contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to the City of Lubbock and 3.) To declare that Lubbock is a city that welcomes all.

“This month continues to be a time to not only recognize the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement, which continues to this day but also to celebrate the many rich contributions made by our LGBTQ+ community,” said Tricia Earl, Co-founder, OUTwest Lubbock.

June is a month dedicated to the celebration of commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer PRIDE. Pride Month originated from numerous gay liberation protests but the most recognized are the events surrounding the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969. Little documentation has surfaced, from the early days, but citizens of Lubbock have engaged in this continued struggle for over 55 years. We take pride in understanding this legacy, acknowledging our current struggle, and expecting a future that is best for all residents.

“As a voter in District 1, I support this proclamation request, and I have met with my councilperson to ask for their support,” said Budd Dees, OUTwest Lubbock organizer. “This proclamation would officially recognize the important history of the LGBTQ+ community and help in bringing a community together whose rights and existence are threatened by institutional, political, and cultural attitudes.”

The first public march and celebration, in Texas, under the umbrella term PRIDE occurred in 1979 in Houston, TX. Austin followed with hosting in 1990. San Antonio’s “Gay PRIDE SA” began in 2004. For Lubbock, several groups and organizations have hosted PRIDE celebrations over the years since the late 1980’s such as PFLAG Lubbock (PRIDE Picnic), South Plains College and Texas Tech University students, staff and faculty hosting multiple PRIDE events on campus. It wasn’t until 2012 that a small group founded the organization Lubbock PRIDE. This organization is dedicated to hosting a public PRIDE celebration annually.

Lubbock PRIDE is hosting its 12th Annual PRIDE Festival on June 22, 2024, starting at noon at the Louise H. Underwood Center for the Arts. We ask members of the City of Lubbock Council to attend this special event to present the proclamation. If members are unable to attend, we ask that a representative read the proclamation to our supporters on or before the date of our event.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to remind the public about the importance of embracing the diversity of all persons who work and live within our city,” said Nick Harpster, Public Relations & Advocacy Coordinator, Lubbock PRIDE. “We, as neighbors, understand that hate is not a Lubbock value.”

There is much more work ahead of our community to address the disproportionate levels of social, cultural, and political basic human rights among the LGBTQ+ community. Having our city leadership proclaim the month of June as PRIDE Month is one small step in celebrating the great diversity that makes up the “hub city”.

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