City of Dallas Kicks Off Pride Month With All-Ages Event

Dallas Pride Event
Dallas Pride Music Festival & Parade advertisement | Image by Dallas Pride

Dallas is hosting a Dallas Teen Pride event at the Dallas Pride Music Festival on June 1 in Fair Park.

“The Dallas Pride Music Festival will feature a variety of musical and dance performances on both the outdoor main stage and on an indoor community stage. More than 200 vendors will have booths to see and shop at the festival. … The festival also includes Teen Pride, which fosters a safe environment for LGBTQ+ youth ages 13 to 19 and their friends to enjoy live entertainment from artists and DJs, and other age-appropriate activities,” the Dallas Pride website states.

Photos from the Dallas Pride website show rainbow flags and people in drag queen outfits. The event will have organizations that provide “Trans services.”

Images by Dallas Pride

“Our lineup includes star-studded performances by Kennedy Davenport and Teen Pride cast and other talented drag performers. Additionally, we have musical performances,” the Dallas Pride website states.

The event states that kids below the age of 12 will receive free tickets and will also feature a “Family Pride Zone.”

“What we create here is a safe place for LGBTQ parents to enjoy PRIDE with their kids in a comfortable, safe environment,” said Leo Cusimano, one of the three event directors, according to the website.

The Teen Pride Event has received some backlash from members of the community.

Texas Coalition for Kids director Kelly Neidert said she was organizing a protest against the “Family Friendly” Dallas Pride event.

“Join us as we peacefully protest this event,” Neidert posted on X.

“Dallas Pride has a history of hosting sexually explicit ‘kid-friendly’ Pride events. They are even encouraging families to bring children by allowing kids under 12 in for free. Since the organizers refuse to add an age limit, Texas Coalition for Kids will be peacefully protesting,” Neidert told The Dallas Express.

Dallas Pride is a non-profit organization “dedicated to producing events that promote a diverse, inclusive, and positive image of the LGBTQ community.”

“It’s a vital platform for advancing LGBTQ rights and making our community’s voices heard. I am excited to work alongside our dedicated team to create memorable and meaningful Pride experiences for all,” Dallas Pride executive director Sherrell Cross said, per the organization’s website.

Dallas City Council Member Chad West (District 1) told DX he supports the Dallas Pride event.

“Pride events are important and very much welcome in Dallas. They provide safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate who they are, rather than hiding parts of themselves. I grew up in a part of the U.S. where there wasn’t a single openly gay person in my hometown,” West said.

Regarding the concerns about minors attending drag shows, West told DX that it was up to their parents to decide, saying he believes that it is a free speech issue.

“I defer to parents to determine appropriate venues and performances for their children to visit and support the First Amendment right of free speech, which includes most types of performances,” West said.

Dallas City officials have shown support for the LGBTQ community. As previously reported by DX, last year, Dallas City Council members raised a Pride flag at City Hall.

“Whereas no one should be subjected to any type of bigotry, harassment, discrimination, or violence because of who they are … on this special occasion, we must continue to bear in mind that while together we have overcome difficult obstacles, acceptance is something we must all practice and teach to future generations,” said a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Johnson.

The City of Dallas once again raised a Pride flag in honor of Pride Month, hosting a kickoff event at City Hall on May 31. According to a city press release, the AT&T Discovery District will also be lit in rainbow colors.

DX contacted the City of Dallas to ask how much the event would cost overall, but it had not received a response by press time.

As previously reported by DX, a survey conducted by Garin Hart Yang Research Group last year asked voters what the most important issues facing the city were. The top answers were crime and public safety (38%), education (24%), and homelessness (22%).

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