With all the stunning floats and the "wow - did you see that?" costumes (leather, feathers and face paint, anyone?) Dallas Pride Parade is one party you can't miss! But do you know what it is really about? Here's the inside scoop from some Oak Lawn business owners, employees and residents:
What is your favorite thing about Pride?
Michael: The sense of community. It is a weekend for people from all spectrums of the community to come have fun. Differences, racial lines are all put aside and we are all together celebrating what makes us unique.
Rick: The energy that it brings to the neighborhood, the excitement, and the fact that people come out and cheer for who they are.
What does Pride mean to you personally?
Kijara: Pride helps people stay strong. All my friends went through struggles in school, being gay. Pride helps us stick together; we all have a story.
Josh: Love who you wish. I'm lucky to be married; we've been together for many years. I never thought I'd see the day I'd be able to stand in front of the judge and marry my partner. I have a lot of pride in the state of Texas and the U.S. as a whole.
How has Pride evolved over the years?
Josh: Back in 1983 it was a singular event, homosexuals only, using it to tell the general public that we're here, we're regular people, we want the same things you want. You can't ignore us. Now, it's families and friends that include the LGBT community and the heterosexual population. And it's getting better every day.
Rick: It's gotten bigger and bigger every year. At first, looking for just any acceptance in society, and today it's gone past even marriage for gays to now being geared to transsexual and transgender identity. Through 30 years it seems to continue to progress and it's a positive.
Do you have any tips for visitors coming here for Pride?
Michael: Get here early, streets fill up really fast. Stay hydrated and wear sunblock.
Kijara: Oak Lawn is a great area, but no matter where you are, things happen, so stay with your friends and be safe!
Josh: Cedar Springs is very diverse. There are excellent restaurants, fantastic bars and clubs. People still think this is a gay only area, but it's not true. It's walkable and it's safe, so you can spend the whole day here - lots of things to do, and great places to eat and have cocktails.
Rick: Every visitor should come to Cedar Springs! Visit the neighborhood and experience the parade; the forward thinking and happiness it brings; and the impact such a positive parade can have on anyone's life, not just gays.
Oak Lawn has a lot going on! Don't know where to start?
Stop by Nuvo for some creative greeting cards and souvenirs to bring home, or check out the latest mens wares at ES Collection. Hungry? Grab a table on the patio at Zephyr for some smoky pimiento cheese deviled eggs and a prime view of the parade, and don't forget to check out the mouth-watering dessert counter at Hunky's!