June 20, 2024

2024 Pride Re-Cap

Each June, staff and supporters of YWCA Spokane come together to participate in the parade and festival organized by Spokane Pride. This year, one of our new staff members, M.E. shared her reflections on this special celebration and what it means to our community.

Reflections on Pride 2024

By M.E., YWCA Spokane Staff Member and Support Advocate

Joy is Resistance

A saying that I have held closely to my heart and carried with me on my journey. A saying that, in my opinion, best reflects Spokane’s 2024 Pride Parade and Festival.

History of Pride

Pride began many years ago as an act of resistance against the police brutality many queer folks experienced, including the criminalization of just simply being and existing as is. But to truly see how it’s evolved from its beginning on the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots on June 28th, 1970 in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, even in a town like Spokane, was inspiring.

2024 Pride Parade 

Waiting in line to walk the parade with YWCA Spokane (the first time I’ve ever even been able to do so!) allowed me to see how many people came together to make this happen, from non-profit organizations, grassroots organizations, to medical providers and schools showing their support. 2SLGBTQ+ Folks and Allies alike waiting to walk the streets of Spokane to show that we will be seen, we will be heard, and laughing while doing so.

After what felt like an eternity of anticipation, the Parade finally began! As we walked, cheers and applause rang throughout the crowds, people dressed in never-ending rainbows, all different and yet together in this moment of solidarity. However, every single person in the crowd and the parade had one thing in common:

Joy.

The joy on all of the faces, as children yelled and cheered, as older folks clapped along, as young couples stood together waving their flags, was palpable. It was almost like a tidal wave of joy, overflowing with love and support for one another. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t started crying a little with how overwhelmed with love and joy not only I felt, but the inner child in me felt as well as we were authentically and joyfully us, in a crowd of (what felt like) thousands who were just as authentically and joyfully themselves.

As the parade ended, we walked into the festival to an even larger area filled with a variety of booths, fun events for all ages, and folks from all backgrounds celebrating a history of activism, resistance, and solidarity coming together to celebrate!

A Simple Reminder

However, while there was an abundance of joy at the 2024 Spokane Pride Parade and Festival, there were also many things that provided us all one simple reminder: There is still more work to be done.

While the Pride Angels and the Spokane Peace and Justice Action League’s Peace Keepers protected the public from counter protesters, their presence at Pride is a reminder that we must continue to fight for the rights and recognition of 2SLGBTQ+ folks, especially our BIPOC queer folks, and to continue educating and advocating for equity locally, nationally, and globally.

We have come so far, and yet there is much more work before we are all truly free. Until then, we must resist against transphobia, homophobia, and heterosexism. The fact that the 2024 Spokane Pride Parade and Festival was the largest one yet, and the amount of joy that the event created amongst all of those who attended, gives me hope that things can, and will, get better for 2SPLGBTQ+ folks not only in Spokane, but around the world.

YWCA Spokane at the 2024 Pride Parade & Festival

By: YWCA Spokane

Related Posts

Jul 2, 2024 Jul 23 @ 6:41 am

2024 Board of Directors – Emily Sumner

Thank You Each of our wonderful Board of Directors is so passionate about our community and dedicates their time, talent, and resources towards the fulfillment of our mission. On behalf of our team, those we serve, and our community we thank you for all you do! Emily Sumner works as…

Jun 24, 2024 Jul 23 @ 6:41 am

Celebrating Success in Gun Safety Amidst Recent Supreme Court Decision

I am grateful to be able to share some good news with you today about one of the ways we’re collaborating with law enforcement to prevent senseless violence and protect survivors.