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Nacogdoches Shows Its’ Pride

By Brittiany Perkins

brittianyperkins@gmail.com

October 21, 2018

On Sunday October 14 the Pineywoods Pride Coalition organized a pride rally at Eugenia

Sterne Park in Nacogdoches. It began with a peaceful march at 5 p.m. through downtown and

back to the park. Afterwards, performers and speakers entertained while people socialized.

First was the musical performance by Johnny Ray Hubbard, a local musician, vocal

coach, and guitar instructor. Next was a moving speech by Johnny Brown, a youth leader at the

Westminster Presbyterian Church and opera performer. He spoke about his experience as a youth

and the struggles LGBTQ+ youth must face still. The Human Rights Campaign

Foundation(HRCF) partnered with the University of Connecticut to conduct a large survey of

LGBTQ teens and it showed just how difficult it is for many in their daily life and community.

Brown was followed by two poets performing spoken word, Lisa Fountain and Krysten

Tinker. The second speaker was Jordan Johnson, a Laney Graduate Fellow in women’s, gender,

and sexuality studies at Emory University. She is a Nacogdoches native who is a City Council

candidate. More information and resources for the LGBTQ+ in Nacogdoches can be found at the

PRIDE Nac Facebook page.

Later in the evening, the SFASU Dance club performed an interpretive dance and had the

members of the crowd join in a Zumba dance session. It was a fun and positive event with

seemingly no hiccups except for one silent religious protester. A man with a large sign walked

the perimeter of the park the entirety of the event while a few attendees blocked the sign with a

pride flag and signs of their own.


According to those who took the survey conducted by HRCF a supportive and

welcoming community if vital to their happiness and success. Events like the pride rally are so

important for the LGBTQ to feel welcome in their community and supported by their families

and friends. It is common for LGBTQ teens to feel depressed, unsafe or stressed. Small, local

groups like PRIDE Nac and the Pineywoods Pride Coalition provide community events for

Nacogdoches residents as well as SFA students.

Other resources for the LGBTQ community include organizations such as the Trevor

Project. This group aims to end suicide amongst the LGBTQ youth by providing counseling and

support for them. It also educates those who interact with the youth and advocate for policy and

law changes.

The march takes

place downtown led by colorful balloons.


The march continues through

downtown Nac.

Peaceful March through downtown.


Marcher proudly holds up signs.

Marchers head back

to Eugenia Sterne Park.


Hubbard performs for crowd.

One of the vendors for the event, Re

Nac, at their table.


The sun sets over

Eugenia Sterne Park.

SFASU Dance club performs.


SFASU Dance Club

performs.

Crowd joins dancers for Zumba.


Crowd takes part in

Zumba dance.

Dancers perform for crowd.


Protester silently

carries sign.

Johnny Brown gives speech.


Protester is surrounded

by attendees with signs and a flaf.

Links:

1. https://www.hrc.org/resources/2018-lgbtq-youth-report

2. https://www.facebook.com/pridenac1993/

3. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/