ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – June is Pride Month nationwide, as the Abilene Pride Alliance say, they are ready to celebrate with their LGBTQ+ members and allies, as well as the rest of the community. 

Vice-chair of the Abilene Pride Alliance James Wagstaff says back in 2019, the Abilene Pride Alliance hosted their first event at Everman Park.  

“It’s just banning together making sure everyone has the same rights and privileges and access and everything that everyone else has,” said Wagstaff.  

During this event, they offered encouragement and togetherness for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the rest of Abilene.

“To have people living in fear that that is not available to them is very disheartening,” said Wagstaff.  

President of the alliance, Sam Hatton, says the biggest issue Abilene’s LGBTQ+ community faces is the feeling of acceptance.  

“I try to do my best at making sure that everybody within that acronym, everybody within the community is equally represented,” said Hatton.   

Now longing to get past the feeling of not being included or wanted among others.  

“We need you to love them unconditionally ,and we need you to love them for who they are,” said Hatton.  

And without support from the rest of the city, Hatton says it’s difficult to provide that reassurance.  

“If people could do that if people could just love their kids and their neighbors and really do that unconditionally, my plate will be a lot less stressful,” said Hatton. 

Hatton wants to let those across the Big Country know that they are ready to be a part of a larger community. 

He says due to the rise in COVID numbers last year, canceling their first Pride Parade was a tough decision to make. This year the alliance is looking forward to presenting the first parade in September, and everyone is welcome to come. 

To find out more on how you can volunteer and get more involved in the LGBTQ+ community, click here