Reimagining PRIDE

Through a lot of deliberation, the Abilene PRIDE Alliance has decided that with the delta variant of Covid-19 on the rise in our community it would be irresponsible for us to hold a full-scale PRIDE Event on September 25th. Hospitalizations are increasing rapidly and a large portion of our offerings would be held indoors or in incredibly close proximity to other people.

That is why we will be scaling back PRIDE 2021 to incorporate only a PRIDE Parade. We will focus all of our efforts toward executing a robust, fun PRIDE Parade and reinvest in a full-scale PRIDE event next year.

Instead of indoor events and vendors, we will refocus the scope of the parade to a message of immunization against Covid-19 and awareness of the vaccine. We are partnering with the local health district to provide immunization stations along the parade route and getting the word out about the effectiveness of the vaccine. 

Our LGBT community has a history of serving our community, even when they are less than receptive to us. Refocusing the parade on Covid-19 and working to increase immunization is another step in that long tradition of queer service to our community. Instead of focusing inward, we will be focusing out on our community. 

Personally, I know that this news is probably disappointing to some of you. A large, dedicated team has been working for the better part of a year to make PRIDE 2021 an incredible event that showcases the West Texas queer community. But our pride can wait. Abilene needs us now. 

The Abilene PRIDE Alliance hopes you will come to our PRIDE Parade and celebrate who you are with all the pride in your heart!

Get vaccinated, mask up, with PRIDE,

Sam Hatton

President, APA

Author: Sam

Sam is the President of the Abilene PRIDE Alliance. He is a local progressive, rural government activist and works at TRUST Web (a web design firm) as the owner. He is also co-owner of WHITL Woodworking (a jewelry manufacturer). Sam has been an avid organizer since he attended the University of North Texas studying psychology. It's a passion that followed him his entire life. He ran for the Texas House of Representatives in 2018 and again in 2020 to draw attention to the lack of education funding facing Texas and the dire situation that most rural water infrastructure was in. Sam's hometown made national news several times for the amount of lead content in their drinking water. The issue remains unaddressed. In 2019 when he was chair of Indivisible Abilene he helped to put on Abilene's largest PRIDE event to that point in two weeks on $500. Over 500 people were in attendance at Everman Park. It was this event that would lead to the creation of the Abilene PRIDE Alliance. In the fall of 2019 Sam, James, and several other LGBTQIA people held the first Abilene PRIDE alliance meetings. Since then, they have formed an online database for affirming...

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