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Colorado Gay Pride Events Going Forward

Colorado LGBT communities are forging ahead with gay pride events. (US Department of State/Wikimedia Commons)
Colorado LGBT communities are forging ahead with gay pride events. (US Department of State/Wikimedia Commons)
June 16, 2016

DENVER - The tragedy in Orlando is not stopping upcoming gay pride celebrations across Colorado. Denver PrideFest is forging ahead with events scheduled for this weekend at Civic Center Park. Last year's festival and parade drew more than 365,000 people.

Rex Fuller, vice president for communications with the GLBT Community Center of Colorado, which organizes the event, said he expects the entire community to turn out.

"It's important that we not allow this tragedy to scare us back into the closet," he said. "Pride celebrations really began as a way to say, 'We need to be out and proud of who we are,' and we're going to continue that tradition."

Vigils have been held throughout the state this week in honor of the Orlando shooting victims and their friends and families. Denver Pridefest is one of the largest celebrations in the nation and generates $25 million in economic impact for the city. Other gay pride events are scheduled in Colorado from June through early September in Durango, Longmont, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo and Boulder.

Fuller said the Center has received an outpouring of support from the Denver and Aurora police departments and there have been no active threats of violence. He adds that since the festival is fenced, participants will go through security gates and will be subject to bag checks.

"We will be working with both private security as well as DPD in order to monitor both the festival and the parade to make sure everybody is safe," he added.

Fuller said he'll understand if people decide they would feel safer staying home, but he's hopeful the community will join the event as a statement of solidarity.

"I just hope that pride celebrations across the country really will be a time for the community to come together and to find what we have in common and to support one another," he said.

Denver Pridefest highlights will include family activities, a 5K race, a parade, dance club artist Latrice Royale, and Nina Flowers from RuPaul's Drag Race.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO