Pride celebration commemorates diversity and inclusion
The LGBT community and supporters celebrated diversity and inclusion at the 2018 Rogue Valley Pride Celebration today, hosted by the Lotus Rising Project. Honoring this year's theme of "Rising With Pride," people of all sexual orientations joined together in a parade through downtown Ashland.
At the end of the parade, there was a festival of information booths available to teach people about safe schools, sexual education, and political awareness. The event also featured entertainment and speakers including MC Natasha Blackwell, Samba Like it Hot, and congressional candidate Jamie McLeod Skinner.
Festival participant Chadwick Jackson said the event encourages people to embrace the LGBT community throughout Southern Oregon.
"You see the signs on the door saying 'Everyone welcome here' and the rainbow flag and everything and that's great, but at the same time were surrounded by other counties that lean the other direction," Jackson said.
Event organizers said having more LGBT events will bring more awareness to the neighboring communities.
The Lotus Rising Project was established in 2001, working as a local support group for the queer community.