Local USVI News

LGBTQ Community Celebrates Pride Month With Parade in Frederiksted

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Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community on Saturday paraded in Frederiksted from the clock tower near the Buddhoe Park to the Sand Castle Hotel area.

Like many other mass gatherings it was the first major parade event since 2019, as the Covid-19 pandemic upended life around the world for the last two years.

The first effort was held in June 2018, and it was marked by some controversy. At the time, law enforcement officers lined the route of the parade from start to finish, a response that was based on conversations that had raged in the community leading up to the parade. But aside from some loitering that occurred earlier in the day, when trash like old couches and a refrigerator, among other garbage, were placed near the fish market to block the parade route (the V.I.P.D. worked swiftly to clean the street before the parade commenced), the event started and ended without incident.

In contrast, Saturday’s event was a peaceful affair as the LGBTQ community and supporters expressed themselves, with a host of organizations joining the Pride Month affair. Governor Albert Bryan, a longtime supporter of the community, participated in the event. The Vialet-Sarauw gubernatorial campaign also participated, holding up a large banner that said the Vialet-Sarauw team “celebrates love”. Sen. Janelle Sarauw, Sen. Kurt Vialet’s running mate in the upcoming general election, is openly gay.

Pride Month is celebrated annually from June 1-30 to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans.

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