Olde Town Arvada was dotted with LGBTQ+ Pride flags and adornments June 18, as the Arvada Library held its annual youth Pride celebration. This year’s iteration featured a parade for the …
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Olde Town Arvada was dotted with LGBTQ+ Pride flags and adornments June 18, as the Arvada Library held its annual youth Pride celebration. This year’s iteration featured a parade for the first time and was attended by about 50 young people and their families.
Arvada Library Manager Jennifer Reading said the event got its start thanks to a suggestion from the library’s teen advisory board and has grown over the years to include more resources and this year’s parade.
Reading said the importance of hosting a youth Pride event was to let LGBTQ+ kids know they’re valued and supported, even if their family may not be accepting.
“Unfortunately, in a lot of situations, families aren’t supportive,” Reading said. “With partnering with the schools and creating that network, we show there is a safe space for them to be.”
Reading added that this year’s event saw a spike in attendance from previous years, with folks from outside Arvada joining the festivities.
“We had no idea it would have this kind of draw,” Reading said. “We’ve had people visiting from Oklahoma that saw it online. Another family moving from England saw it online.”
Cherokee Bull and Josiah Bandy said they were visiting Colorado from Oklahoma and happened to be staying nearby. When they heard about the library’s Pride celebration, they jumped at the chance to go.
“I’ve always wanted to go to (Pride),” Bull said. “I enjoyed it and had so much fun. It was a great thing.”
A teen who wished to remain anonymous led the Pride parade and gave advice for anyone struggling with unaccepting friends or family members.
“Don’t let other people get to you and make you hide your true colors,” the teen said.
The Arvada Library’s Pride celebration was held from 1 to 4 p.m. with the parade kicking off at 2 p.m. and encircling the pedestrian mall in Olde Town.
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