“A Million Moments of Pride” officially kicked off this past Saturday, May 18 and Sunday May 19, celebrating Long Beach’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.
The downtown Long Beach event, which was full of live music, community activations, food and drinks from local eateries accomplished it’s goal of remaining inclusive and promoting an environment that is free of prejudice and welcoming of everyone. Many kids were in attendance at both the parade and the festival which marked its 36th year as a destination for people of all ages to celebrate and mingle with each other as they kicked off SoCal’s first Pride of the season.
On Sunday, attendees were treated to 141 entries of parade marchers or float riders kicking off a nice and sunny day of festivities and while the rain would come much later just before the official closing of the parade, attendees were not detoured away or discouraged in any fashion to celebrate Long Beach’s tribute to 50 years of the Stonewall riots for equality and justice for our community.
Aids Healthcare Foundation, a yearly supporter of the event, had an expanded presence at the festival filled with well over a dozen employees and volunteers. Miguel Stevens-Ortiz, Associate Director of Quality and Operations for the Public Health Division for the organization and frequent visitor of the festival, explained why this celebration, in particular, hold special meaning in his heart.
“ 12 years ago, my now husband, Ru Stevens-Ortiz, and educator for LA Unified School District, asked me to be his boyfriend. We now are the proud parents of 11-year-old triplets and every year we march with them in the parade, here at Long Beach, “ Ortiz added.
A Million Moments of Pride, definitely.