Pride Fest celebrates Little Rock's progress, acceptance

Little Rock community celebrates with Pride Fest

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - It's the time of year for many outdoor marches and movements. Three years ago Little Rock was host to its first gay pride. That tradition still stands as thousand came out in support of this year's celebration of LGBTQ rights.

Supporters said they're excited to see Little Rock remain diverse. Little Rock city board member Kathy Webb said it makes people feel good when they are recognized in their community.

“It’s really important because so many in the LGBTQ community have felt discriminated against, been bullied, been harassed and have a safe space where people can come together today with allies and celebrate,” she said.

Along the streets of downtown rainbow flags were seen for miles. It's a celebration of Gay Pride. Webb said it's important to have a safe space where people can come together with allies and celebrate. Pride supporter Joey Redd attended this year's event but with a new face, bringing his neighbor along for fun.

"She's never gotten the chance to come to one of these before," Redd said. "And her mother is my best friend and she was able to bring her. I wanted to show her what our life is all about."

The movement is growing fast but this year is different. Supporters remembered the 49 lives taken in an Orlando shooting just months ago.

"We have made great strides, but we also have far to go," Webb explained.

Last year, the board of directors passed a law prohibiting discrimination by the city and its employees and although challenges remain, supporters of Pride Fest said it’s events like these that help spread awareness for the LGBTQ community. Festival supporter Aaron Aldridge said he loves that people can come out and support the festival despite so much violence taking place in the world.

"It's nice to see that even through all the lost and the tragedy people have come back together and it hasn't stop anybody from doing what they want to do,” Alridge said.

Organizers of today's festivities said it’s a sign of how their loosely connected groups are becoming more organized. They plan on using that momentum to hold more events later this year.


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