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Celebrating Pride in Beaverton, Oregon

People cheer as paraders share their pride. (Dana Kim/YJI)

Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.A. – On a warm summer Sunday, Beaverton residents gathered today to celebrate Pride at Beaverton City Park.

People dressed in multicolored clothing and glitter cheered on the local community. As many pride flags waved high in the air, those in the parade carefully tossed candy and other goods into cheering audiences.

“Representation matters,” said Kate Kristianson, creator of Beaverton Pride 2024. “There is strength, love and hope in numbers.”

Advice that people in the community would have given their 15-year-old selves. (Dana Kim/YJI)

Beaverton’s Pride day aligned with New York’s Stonewall riots of 1969, honoring the beginning of the gay rights movement.

In the park, vendors and artists gathered to support the local LGBTQ+ community. At stands, pride flags and other goods were either offered for free or sold by local small businesses.  

On a large stage, LGBTQ+ artists performed shows. In circus acts, musical performances, and drag queen storytimes, joy and representation were major themes.

“I want you to reach out and look around and see if there’s anybody who’ll wave to you or hold your hand,” Sir Cupcake, a prominent queer circus artist, said near the end of their show.

At their show, a hula hoop with tassels commemorated acceptance as audience members were encouraged to take a tassel from the hula hoop if they passed under the hoop.

In a short interlude between the acts, Drag Queen Poison Waters read a book in a short “Drag Queen Storytime.”

Drag Queen Poison Waters reads a picture book during Drag Queen Storytime. (Dana Kim/YJI)

At the end of the picture book, she called for audience members to be accepting of their friends, no matter their sexuality or gender.

“Hey Beaverton Pride / here I am,” Drag Queen Saint Syndrome sang in her opening act parodying the song “I’m The Greatest Star” from the Broadway musical Funny Girl.

In the middle of her act, she said that members of the community as well as allies should prevent further oppression from occurring in the community.

A drag queen performs Sunday at Beaverton Pride. (Dana Kim/YJI)

For many who attended Pride, the gathering showed a sense of community and hope for the future.

People cheer on the parade. (Dana Kim/YJI)

Pride “means not being ashamed or frightened of who you are,” said Glennis McNeal, 86. She said she came to the event because of her local church’s stand and gay family members.

McNeal said she hoped Pride gave people “the feeling that there’s a lot of support.”

Vishall Kaistha, a 35-year-old gay man, said that for him, Pride is a way to bring awareness to everyone, whether they are the same or different.

“For me, it’s a collection of the history, where we are today, and in the future, and also to have fun and express yourself,” he said.

Dana Kim is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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