SAN ANGELO, Texas — The nonprofit organization Open Arms RRC + LGBT is hosting a variety of events to celebrate Pride Month.
In 1999 and 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June "Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.” Now after the embracing of more inclusion in the community, President Joe Biden declared June LGBTQ+ Pride Month in 2021.
Open Arms offers no-cost services for the LGBTQ+ community and victims of sexual assault. Open Arms LGBTQ+ services advocate Jon Zachariah hopes this month's events will bring light to people's spirits after all the recent events in the U.S.
“Just going out and telling someone, hey, you love them. That's this year's theme, living out loud. There's a lot of things going on in the world. If we can just be one small step in showing some beauty and love, then that’s what we hope to do,” Zachariah said.
From a celebratory Pride party to offering free HIV/STD testing - the organization wants everyone to celebrate who they are and live in their truth, no matter what.
Since coming to San Angelo a few years ago, Zacariah said they’ve received a lot of support.
“I'm meeting a lot of community members and a lot of people within the community here and kind of connecting the two and so many people, you know, reaching out for Open Arms to be a presence at their events and, you know, their pride festival or a drag show, they want open arms to present. That's what's so awesome to me,“ Zacariah said.
Pride events scheduled in San Angelo are:
- June 6 – 6 p.m. - Pre-Pride Party at The Parrot’s Head Tavern
- June 11 – 6 p.m. - Pulse Memorial Candlelight Vigil at Lone Wolf Bridge
- June 12 – 2 p.m. - Legendary Divas Drag Bingo at The House of FiFi DuBois
Free HIV/STD testing will be provided at 10 a.m. June 16 at 113 N. Harrison St.
For those who want to support the LGBTQ+ community year round, Open Arms welcomes volunteers.