Hundreds gathered on Virginia Street in downtown Reno on a scorching Saturday morning.
They waved rainbow-colored flags, cheered and smiled as performers and organizations walked down the road as part of the CommUNITY Pride Parade.
“Pride is so important, especially now, considering all the horrible things going on in the world. Everyone needs a moment to find some joy and to find community,” said Stephanie Nicole le Dream, drag queen and host of Reno’s Pride Festival.
People stood behind the parade barriers and danced and sang along as a marching band performed “YMCA.” They also held out their hands as people handed them candy, beaded necklaces and other trinkets.
As the parade came to an end, people headed toward Wingfield park, where the festivities continued with various performances and a plethora of food trucks.
Reno’s Pride events came days after the House of Representatives passed a bill codifying federal protections for same-sex marriage.
House Democrats are pushing to protect other rights they believe were left vulnerable following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” le Dream said. “It’s a scary time for anyone who is not a cis-gendered, straight, white male. Everyone is under attack.”
“We’re lucky to live in Nevada with extended provisions and protections for the LGBT community,” Meredith Tanzer, parade co-director, said.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Nevada has multiple “LGBTQ+ friendly statewide law or policy present.”
For example, Nevada has anti-bullying laws, trans-inclusive healthcare benefits for state employees, name and gender updates on birth certificates and driver’s licenses, mandatory reporting of hate crime statistics and de facto parent recognition.
“It’s important to celebrate the (LGBTQ community) because people need to recognize that people come in all shapes and colors and sizes and thoughts. And we can blend in together and work together,” Tanzer said.
USA Today contributed to this report.
Kristin Oh is a public safety reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 775-420-1285. Please help support her work by subscribing.