Carlsbad Pride held its first event since 2019 at the Carlsbad Beach Bandshell, reminding the town that the LGBTQ community is present and will “take up space.”
“We’re here, we’re queer, we’re trans, we’re non-binary and we aren’t going anywhere,” said the event’s master of ceremony Lady Shug, featured on the HBO series “We’re Here.”
Attendees said they often felt the LGBTQ community was suppressed, but are getting a chance to be themselves.
The event included trick-or-treating for kids, local vendors and a Hallowqueen Drag Show.
“The unicorns,” Brian and Bradley Dorado provided food during the day before dancing the night away at the Official Carlsbad Pride After Party at Cals Shade Western.
Kids and teens of all ages cheered as performers Redd Roulette, Tina Dean Travesty, Nicole Russ and Parris London performed songs from Beyonce to Beetle Juice.
Pride Fest offered LGBTQ youth a family-friendly place to be themselves free of judgment said Foundy Home Program Supervisor Brandy Ackland.
The Foundy Home is a shelter for runaway and homeless youth. Ackland said the organization takes in LGBTQ youth that aren’t always accepted by their families.
“Lots of them get kicked out and don’t have anywhere to go,” Ackland said.
Lady Shug reminded the kids to be themselves and told them they can also become performers and drag queens if their hearts desire.
Claudia Silva is a reporter from the UNM Local Reporting Fellowship. She can be reached at [email protected], by phone at (575) 628-5506 or on Twitter @thewatchpup.