Here are my opening remarks:
Hello, my name is Sarah Swedberg, and I serve on the board of Colorado West Pride. Colorado West Pride is a non-profit organization. Our mission is to promote diversity, acceptance, and unity within Western Colorado for our LGBTQA Community. We work to provide a place for the LGBTQA community, where there is a sense of community, members are and feel safe, and where information and resources serving the needs of the community can be found. We expect our efforts to be guided by compassion, inclusiveness, ethical standards, personal integrity, and cooperation.
Like communities throughout the world, we celebrate our culture, and take pride in our history.
June is Pride month. In this month, we remember the bull dykes and drag queens of the Stonewall Inn who rose up against the police who targeted their space in 1969. We also celebrate and commemorate the drag queens who rioted at the Compton Cafeteria in San Francisco three years earlier, and the members of Mattachine Society who declared liberation in the 1950s and the Daughters of Bilitis who broke from Mattachine when that organization refused to take seriously women’s needs.
We celebrate and commemorate the Lavender Menace and the Combahee River Women’s Collective and the Radical Fairies and every organization that came before us fighting for recognition and rights.
We remember every man or woman who was attracted to someone of the same sex but had no name for that attraction, and we remember those who were—and are—punished for acting on that attraction. We remember every person who felt they were born into the wrong body and either unhappily struggled to conform to the world around them or who tried to live as their authentic selves, often fearful of discovery.
We try to find the hand of every bullied teenager so that we can provide a lifeline. We remember those who found this world so uncomfortable that they took their own lives. We remember those who were murdered for being who they were.
With this historical memory, and this compassion, we also work to build our own community here in the valley.
This afternoon is the first of a number of events.
Check out our events on Facebook or on our website: coloradowestpride.org to find the restaurants supporting our Pride Festival. Dine out for Pride helps raise money for our events.
On Wednesday, join us at Grand Junction City Hall at 6:00 as our city council recognizes Pride week in Grand Junction. Then: grab a bite to eat and join us at 8:00 for a showing of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Avalon Theater.
On Thursday, join us at Mesa Theater and Club for a performance of Taming of the Shrew, followed by the amazing duo from Aurora, Colorado, Dear Marsha.
On Friday, have a drink at one of the sponsoring pubs to help support Pride. The list of pubs is one our website.
On Saturday, during the day, join us on the 500 block of Colorado for our festival, and then, at night, we’ll be back at Mesa Theater and Club for the Rainbow Party.
Sunday (noon) is our parade, followed by the festival on the 500 block of Colorado.