Pride fills Ridgway's Hartwell Park
Pride was in the air on Saturday during Ouray County’s third annual Pride celebration. Sunny skies, bright colors, costumes, pride flags and upbeat music filled Hartwell Park as friends and families relaxed on the grass… or meandered the booths scattered around the park. The Ouray County Pride event was designed for family fun, but for many in attendance, the celebration marked a milestone. It created a place where people can express who they are without shame.
Pride-attendee Althea Turner said her brother lived with HIV during the HIV/AIDS epidemic throughout the 1980s and 1990s. During that time, her brother became involved in outreach groups, looking to help the communities affected by the virus. For Turner, attending events like Ouray Pride symbolize the progress made since her brothers' fight for healthcare access and equity.
As of 2021, the HIV virus has killed around 40 million people, and approximately 38 million people are living with HIV globally.
For locals like Bob Mann, seeing more diversity on the Western Slope, and around the state and world, is a mark of success.
The festivities filled the Saturday afternoon with a drag show, a costume contest and a parade of flags. Children took the stage for some situational sketches, one titled “Gay Prom.” In this particular skit, two young girls are crowned prom queen and prom queen. In another sketch, they tackle gender identity diversity and acceptance.
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