DALLAS — After a two-year absence, the Dallas Pride Parade returned to Fair Park, where a 92-degree June day couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of thousands promising to continue "living out proud."
"It is a gorgeous day for a parade," said Troy Robertson at the parade with his friend, Lauren Declaire. "But it is hot," he laughed.
Despite the weather, thousands lined the two-hour parade route around the Cotton Bowl.
"I just love to be around people that are just comfortable and happy," said Robertson. "And everybody just wanting to be who they are and being accepted for who they are."
This is the first Dallas Pride Parade since 2019. COVID-19 gets the blame for that.
The parade, with the theme "live out proud," drew participants from across the country. Rae Yanis and Cheyenne White made the trip from Austin for their first Dallas Pride Parade.
"Not that long ago when I was growing up, you couldn't be, you couldn't be out," Yanis said. "You couldn't have a girlfriend. Small town Texas. So it's very freeing and just happy."
Makayla Gleason and Joshua Walters, both formerly from Baltimore, Maryland, admitted that their last pride parade experience was in Washington, D.C. in 2019 -- one that left them with fears about attending another.
"It was like a false active shooter report and everyone had to run," Gleason said of Capitol Pride 2019. "It took a lot for us to keep the anxiety down and just to be here. So we're like not afraid to be here."
"You see people like you everywhere. Everywhere you walk you see people like you," said Shay Griffin of Dallas. "It's like... you can be yourself. You can be who you want to be. Nothing but all smiles."
Smiles on a day to remind everyone that "Y'all means All" as one float proudly proclaimed.
Not just on a sweltering June day in Dallas, but every day of the year.