Boulder County, CO – LGBTQ Pride may be observed a little differently this year, but it is still being celebrated and commemorated. With one Boulder County Pride, rather than two separate Boulder and Longmont Prides, Out Boulder County (OBC) has put together a diverse line up of in-person and virtual events between June 7-13, intended to bring together LGBTQ community members and their allies to express their pride, honor the history of liberation and struggle, and forge ahead to a more inclusive future.
Part of the celebration that you won’t want to miss are the motorcades in Longmont, Boulder, and Lafayette. Taking place on Sunday, June 13 at 9am, 12pm, and 4pm respectively, the motorcades will feature community members and vehicles decked out in Pride spirit as well as local leaders being honored as Grand Marshals. The Grand Marshals are Longmont City Manager Harold Dominguez, former Boulder County Clerk Clela Rorex for Boulder, and Lafayette’s out representatives, Mayor Jamie Harkins and City Administrator Fritz Sprague.
In response to being asked to be a Grand Marshal, Harkins remarks, “I am so incredibly humbled to play a part in this year’s pride festivities right here in Lafayette! As our city’s first openly gay council member and now first mayor, I take very seriously what that means for the LGBTQ community and want to provide that visibility for queer community members, especially young folks. Often if feels like we’ve achieved a level of equality that something like being the first openly gay mayor (or Colorado’s only current gay mayor) doesn’t need to be recognized, but the truth is we’re not there yet… I am so proud to be out and proud and in a leadership position…and lend the platform I’ve been given to fighting for equal rights.”
Sprague responded, “It was completely unexpected. What makes it really special is the amazing work Out Boulder County does for the LGBTQ community and underserved populations. My partner and I participated in their Covid-19 vaccination clinic and their outreach was amazing. The work OBC does is really extraordinary and the fact they’re asking Jamie and I to represent them during Pride Month is really an honor. This is one of those things you remember for a long, long time in a career of public service.”
Rorex, who issued the first known same sex marriage licenses in 1975, shared, “Being selected as a Grand Marshal for the Pride Parade is a new experience for me, and I am honored to be selected. Most of all, I am hoping allies for the LGBTQ community will line the curbs as the car parade passes by, to show their support for a community that still faces many challenges. For example, right now trans kids are currently under attack in a number of states, where they are being legislated out of participating in youth sports. It helps enormously when allies show they care.”
All of the Grand Marshals have connections to the LGBTQ community and liberation, whether LGBTQ themselves or as active allies.
Reflecting on the importance of Pride, Sprague expressed, “We’ve made progress in inclusivity, but more needs to be done. It’s when you back off of something, or slow down and get lax in these areas we lose ground and we just can’t do that. It’s also a key responsibility of people in positions of influence to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
He continued, “Visibility is so important because it shows the depth and talent those in the LGBTQ community contribute to society as a whole. It’s also so incredibly important to show our youth that there are successful, contributing members of our community in prominent positions that make impactful decisions.”
Harkins elaborates, “I feel so incredibly fortunate to have always had professional jobs, and then elected jobs, where my identity was openly embraced, valued, and protected. My wish for our future is that every single LGBTQ person can say the same, and I know we have a long way to go to get there. For the past 11 years, all of my work has been in the public sector, and I think it’s especially important to model openly LGBTQ individuals serving and improving the community.”
Community members are invited to join in the motorcades either by driving and riding along in them, or spectating along the routes. All are invited to express their Pride through their dress and posters and cheers.
Other Boulder County Pride events include: a drive-in film screening of “P.S. Burn this Letter”, a 50+ mixer, a family planning seminar, a film screening of “Chavela”, a Vaccine Clinic, a video game tournament, a name and gender change clinic and more. Find full details at: https://www.outboulder.org/pride