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Pride with a Side of Positivity

Festivals for Our Future

Meaghan Crawford, Reporter

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Texas heat beats down on everyone outside in the small Plano park from morning until evening. Beads of sweat form on foreheads and trickle down flushed faces and necks, but junior Alexandria Hayes isn’t focused on that. She’s focused on the people surrounding her. People she can relate to, and who can relate back to her. A group of adolescents who all identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or otherwise, also known as LGBTQ+.
“The only people I had interacted with in the [LGBTQ+] community were a very small group of people from the school and online,” Hayes said. “This was an event where I could meet all people. It was community of people that I could connect with and I wanted to experience it and meet more people.”
Hayes is a part of and an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and participated in a Pride Festival in Plano at a local park on Jun. 6. Events like these are new for Texas teens who are part of this community and Hayes says she recommends them for others because of the impact it’s had on her.

“It showed me that there are definitely more people that share the same experiences [as me],” Hayes said. ”Being in conservative Texas there’s no one, it’s isolating, but I think even going to just a little community festival definitely shows that even if [people] aren’t vocal or out about [being LGBTQ+], they’re there.”

Hayes wants people to understand that pride events are “not something that you should be ashamed of, it’s something that you should be proud of.” Hayes also said, ”It’s a celebration of your identity and a place to connect with people.” With the upcoming Dallas pride festival on Sept. 15, Hayes said she is eager to experience a larger community coming together.

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Pride with a Side of Positivity