Santa Fe’s Pride organizers want this year’s celebration to acknowledge the past.
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of New York’s landmark Stonewall riots this month, Saturday’s Pride parade will commemorate that milestone and point to more LGBTQ history, said Santa Fe’s Human Rights Alliance/Pride president Michael Davis.
“We definitely want to talk about why we’re there,” Davis said. “Most of us feel, in many ways, that a lot of us are marching and we don’t know why we’re marching, relative to the history … .”
The 1969 uprising in New York City helped spark the national gay rights movement. Days of rioting and protests began after New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village.
The Human Rights Alliance hosted events related to Stonewall earlier this month, including a screening of a documentary at the Center for Contemporary Arts and a concert with the New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus.
Davis said the idea is to continue that theme as the Pride celebrations culminate with the downtown parade on Saturday.
“We just want to inject a little more education and more heritage into the celebration,” Davis said. “Not disregarding the parade, of course, but looking at what happens after the parade. What happens that Monday.”
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Alan Webber are among those expected to speak on the Plaza after the parade. Davis added that the HRA will be distributing swag that honors drag queen and 1960s LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent figure in the Stonewall protests.
“It was really a matter of just saying how do we make this more of a potent celebration as opposed to something just kind of passing through,” Davis said. “We definitely want to keep (Johnson’s) spirit alive with this event. We also want to recognize the others, as well.”
The parade route, like last year’s, starts at the PERA Building on Paseo de Peralta and comes down Old Santa Fe Trail. The parade will take a left on San Francisco Street before entering the Plaza area for the opening ceremony, speakers and music from Santa Fe’s DJ BadCat.
Leading up to the parade, the HRA has several other events scheduled around town. Throughout Pride Month, Davis said, the organization has put more of an emphasis on local partnerships with entities like Meow Wolf and the New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association.
For the first time, Meow Wolf will hold the parade’s after-party on Saturday from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Before the weekend, the House of Eternal Return will also host a Thursday art showcase and a business mixer. On Friday night, there will be an LGBTQ listening session and women’s dance party, also at Meow Wolf.
“They have many more resources than HRA, so they can bring the crowd to a really hyped party,” Davis added.
Today’s schedule includes a family-friendly Pride party from noon to 3 p.m. in the Railyard Park, with games, face painting, balloon artists and food trucks, and a dance party at the Drury Plaza from 1-5 p.m.
On Tuesday, a talk focused on the best ways to support nonbinary and transgender community members will be held at the Solace Crisis Treatment Center. On Friday night, a White Party and drag show hosted by the Gay Rodeo Association will take place at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. And, as per tradition, on the Sunday afternoon after the parade, there will be a pool party at The Lodge at Santa Fe hotel.
Partly through strengthening relationships among local groups, Davis said, he wants this year’s Pride celebration to be a springboard for more regular LGBTQ community events in Santa Fe and more robust partnerships with groups statewide.
Davis, who assumed the role of president in January, also wants the HRA to start working with LGBTQ associations in Santa Fe high schools and colleges, and become more connected to New Mexico’s congressional leadership.
Davis’ goal is to push the conversation outside of just the “glimmer and glamour” that comes around each June.
“We want people to talk about these things year round,” he said.