North Texas Daily

How much pride does Denton really have for its LGBTQ community?

How much pride does Denton really have for its LGBTQ community?

Students hold and wear pride flags at the protest that occured at the UNT library mall on March 29, 2018. Ashley Gallegos

How much pride does Denton really have for its LGBTQ community?
June 14
00:13 2018

June is Pride Month, a monthlong celebration of queer and gender nonbinary individuals in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, a turning point in the LGBTQ liberation movement in the 1960s. During Pride Month, many big cities praise the community for its vibrance, accomplishments and perseverance. But Denton’s queer population might often find that it is more enthusiastically celebrated in Dallas or Austin.

Denton has a smattering of celebratory events throughout June, the biggest being “Pridenton,” a gathering on The Square with food, drinks, and fun that continues around some of the local bars. However, when looking at some of the Pride festivities going on in other places, this begins to feel like an afterthought.

Disappointingly, Denton did not officially recognize June as Pride Month until last week. If it took hundreds of years for the city to even acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ, how could it possibly engage with the community enough to honor them appropriately?

The LGBTQ community of Denton deserves better than a proclamation and a cookout.

With many local events celebrating Pride Month see more and more engagement and popularity each year, this should be a clue to the city that it should further invest in events like these not only to support LGBTQ members of the community, but also because it just makes business sense.

UNT is a big part of Denton, and queer and nonbinary people are a big part of UNT. The Pride Alliance, The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and GLAD are just a few of the organizations on campus that do so much for our community in terms of providing resources for LGBTQ in a caring environment. This community, which exudes such love and positivity, and that is quite literally changing peoples’ lives for the better, deserves some legitimate recognition.

Can’t Denton show its enthusiasm for its thriving LGBTQ community — at least during pride month?

Queer and gender non-conforming people do not live solely in L.A. or San Fransisco, or Dallas for that matter. Dallas’ Pride celebrations are big, and have become an eye-catching tradition for the city. But here in Denton, one blink and you’ll miss all the Pride fun. Of course, people do show up for the Denton proceedings, but it feels like a miniscule, Pride pregame for the “main event” somewhere else.

Where is Denton’s main event? Where is our city-wide parade with floats, performers and local queer personalities? Where is our festival setup with games and booths? A face-painting station?

LGBTQ folks are everywhere, and that includes smaller, more rural (and more conservative) places like Denton County. In cities like these, those celebrations of “otherness” are 10 times as impactful.

The LGBTQ community doesn’t want more recognition just for the sake of partying and wearing rainbows. As a group oppressed both socially and legislatively, Pride events are some peoples’ only opportunity to feel camaraderie and acceptance, or to even feel safe enough when holding their partner’s hand in public. Law changes and policies protecting the community are what the LGBTQ community wants, and while acknowledging pride month is a step in the right direction, the progress is far from over.

At the end of the day, Pride parades, concerts and performances — these things are all material. The real objective is the intangible moments of human connection and the feeling of belonging these events facilitated for the community. Celebrations like these help pave the way to better treatment for LGBTQ. It’s time for Denton to fully embrace every color in its rainbow.

Featured Image: File

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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1 Comment

  1. Taylor
    Taylor June 14, 19:35

    Loved this article and agree fully. As a student at UNT I get to see how beautiful people are around here. Take the protest that took place on the UNT campus for example. Students put that together quickly to defend their community. Imagine what the county could do for all of those people that stand together day by day. Imagie what the county could do if they spent more time on the events around here. Hopefully Denton will begin to stand with the community rather than simply giving them a few events due to popular demand. Thank you for your article. Hopefully people will read it and understand the LGBTG+ community is here and not going anywhere.

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