DA GSA Marches in NC Pride
On Saturday, September 24th, the sun came out and Durham became a rainbow. It was North Carolina Pride, a parade and festival to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in the Triangle area. DA’s very own Gender and Sexuality Alliance marched alongside children, church groups, drag queens, and businessmen alike, all chanting “2-4-6-8! Spread the love and stop the hate!”
Along with the students in the GSA, many DA teachers came out to show support in the parade. Mr. Klein and Ms. Teagarden joined the marching students and learned about the different Pride flags on the GSA banner, and Ms. Rios-Torres kept the group organized, along with other members of the faculty. Dr. Garrett, who has watched the parade in the past, but joined the march for the first time this year, said, “Though it may have only been a group of about 25 students, we were part of a group of thousands of people who were all there with the same sentiment.
At Durham Academy, LGBTQ+ students greatly benefit from the sense of community and celebration of their identities that pride offers. “When I went to Pride, it felt like I could finally be accepted for every part of myself,” said Marta Beramendi-Conde, a junior who participated in the march. “It was a different level of acceptance. It was like I was being celebrated rather than tolerated.”
Other students agreed that the festival was a unique experience, that they had never been in a place before where they felt completely free to be themselves. “Everyone that I saw there I could relate to in a way,” Beramendi-Conde said. “I felt a lot more emotional than I thought I would.”
The nation’s culture has changed rapidly over the past few years, and the Triangle community is changing with it—for example, the Durham Police Department hired its first LGBT liaison officer, Charles Strickland Jr., on the Friday before Pride.
This shift also reflects in the younger generations of the city, and Dr. Garrett remembers seeing so many little children at Pride. “I just think that really gives me hope for the future,” she said. “If that many kids are coming to pride parades all over the country, I feel really good about where we’re going to be as a culture.”
Progress is happening quickly, and young people, like the students at DA, are the key to pushing it forward.