ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) –There’s never been a Pride Parade in Abilene before. The closest the city has gotten to is a barbecue, but “Abilene Pride Alliance” wants to change that in 2021. A Sweetwater mom, within the LGBTQ community, is excited to be able to attend Abilene’s first-ever gay pride parade coming up in September.
“My love for my son is unconditional” said mother, Susie Stalder.
Raising Weston was a special journey for Susie Stalder, as she slowly started noticing signs that portrayed male-like characteristics.
“As a child, for Christmas, he would ask for a fire engine or a football.”
So when the day came… Stalder had already known that her once daughter would now identify as her son.
“He came out as an adult and I’ve never seen him more happier than he is who he is and who he needs to be.”
Stalder says that for some parents it may be difficult to accept having a child in the LGBTQ community but she never stopped having love for hers.
“When I was little people would say what are you going to be when you grow up, and I said I want to be a mom. He’s my first and all of my family has absolutely embraced him in his transition, ” she expresses.
And with the first-ever pride parade here in Abilene, V.P. of Pride Alliance, James Wagstaff, believes this event will not only be an exciting time but will also be a learning experience for everyone.
“It’s about educating themselves, it’s about becoming comfortable with the issues, and with the topic and fully understanding,” said Wagstaff.
Back in 2019, the alliance held their first-ever pride event here in the key city and this year they’re expecting an even bigger turn-out with a parade.
“At least 15 hundred people,” says Chair of Abilene Pride Alliance, Sam Hatton. “We’re obviously hoping for more, but we’re hoping to at least triple what we saw at that original time and really give them like an all-day event that they can go to and have fun and you know feel comfortable in the community.”
You’ll be able to find Stalder among the crowd as she surely plans to be in attendance.
“Well I was excited to hear about this and for him, in honor of him I want to participate.”
And she will proudly be offering free mom hugs while at the parade.
Abilene Pride Alliance is hosting the parade, “Denims and Diamonds” this September 25th.
If you would like to donate towards the event, click here.