Jun 3, 2022 - News

LGBTQ Pride events launch in Austin suburbs

Illustration of the state of Texas with the LGBTQ Pride Flag colors in it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Pride is coming to the 'burbs.

Driving the news: Round Rock, Bastrop and Pflugerville, suburbs of Austin, will celebrate their first Pride festivals this month, beginning with Round Rock this Saturday.

Why it matters: The festivals are brilliantly fun statements of diversity in parts of suburban Texas engulfed in culture wars.

  • Williamson County commissioners in December opted to temporarily withhold federal money from the Leander and Round Rock school districts over concerns about "smut" on school shelves. (Leander had its inaugural Pride festival in May.)
  • Last year, Leander school district officials removed at least 11 books from high schoolers' curriculum — some of them with LGBTQ characters or themes — after a year-long review by parents, staff and others.

What they're saying: "It says that change is always taking place," Richard Parson, founder of Round Rock Pride, told Axios. "There are always those voices that insist things are no different. But that's not how life is."

  • "It's important because everyone needs validation, everyone needs representation, to know they're seen and they're heard … there's such an atmosphere and environment of hatred. We want to bring the love."

Details: The festival, on Round Rock's Centennial Plaza from 2-6pm, will be emceed by prize-winning journalist Tony Plohetski.

  • It will feature performances by the Austin Gay Men's Chorus, comedy troupe Austin Babtist Women and proclamations by local officials.
  • "Then we're going to end up with a fabulous drag show, of course," Parson said.

🗓 For your calendar:

Of note: Austin's Pride parade and festival are in August, rather than the traditional June, for several reasons, as reported by KUT: less competition for pride event headliners, the chance of rain drops, and college students are back in town to act as crucial volunteers.


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