The Orion

Chico Pride returns to celebrate LGBTQ community

Dana+Daniell%2C+a+long-time+attendee+of+Chico+Pride.+Photo+credit%3A+Jae+Siqueiros
Dana Daniell, a long-time attendee of Chico Pride. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

Dana Daniell, a long-time attendee of Chico Pride. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

Dana Daniell, a long-time attendee of Chico Pride. Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

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Rainbow colors, booming music and smiling faces filled the Chico City Plaza this Saturday afternoon for the Pride Festival. The event was hosted by the Chico Stonewall Alliance, a non-profit agency committed to cultivating a safe, open and inclusive environment for all members of the LGBTQ community.

“It’s like night and day compared to how it was when it started,” said Dana Daniell, a long-time attendee of Chico Pride. “They used to be small little get-togethers that would meet in strange places. Now they’re throwing all these amazing events for the whole weekend.”

Stonewall put on a series of events all weekend long in celebration of Pride Weekend. From a Sunday community brunch to a drag show, there were plenty of ways to get involved in the celebration. This event has grown exponentially over the years.

Daniell pointed out how getting the youth involved has made the celebration grow drastically.

“Young people were so oppressed and depressed and so deep in the closet, but once they get out of high school, it’s things like the gender center at Chico State and Stonewall’s youth program that make people feel welcome,” said Daniell.

Chico State’s Gender and Sexuality Equity Center had a booth set up at the festival. Steve Christian, the trans outreach coordinator of GSEC, offered information about the Center.

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Seve Christian,Trans Outreach Coordinator of GSEC Photo credit: Jae Siqueiros

“We are a non-profit, entirely student-run organization,” said Christian. “We provide a safe, accepting environment and work to empower all students through awareness-raising events, services and referrals.”

Christian agreed that the event has grown significantly and said it definitely seemed more lively this year.

The Pride Festival was incredibly upbeat and everyone had a great time. Love was definitely in the air that day and Chico’s united community nature was unmistakable.

The event does a remarkable job of increasing visibility of the LGBTQ community and making the North State community a safer place for all. All the proceeds of the pride event will help fund Stonewall’s mission of “inclusion and empowerment.”

For more information on the Stonewall Alliance Center, visit their website.

Cassandra Porter can be reached at [email protected] or @cassieporter_ on Twitter.

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Chico Pride returns to celebrate LGBTQ community