The City of Dallas is set to endorse events that praise people based on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, according to its proposed budget for the new fiscal year.
The Dallas Office of Arts & Culture (OAC) will “[i]ncrease support for cultural equity through facilitating cultural celebrations throughout the year” for events it noted will include Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Indigenous People’s Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islanders History Month, and LGBTQ Pride Month, according to a proposed city budget for fiscal year 2024.
Ashley Guevara, a senior public information officer for the City of Dallas, said the proposed budget will contribute to these events by increasing support for audio and visual equipment, as well as waiving special event fees.
“Led by the Dallas City Council, the City celebrates Pride Month beginning on June 1 of each year by raising the official Pride flag with the City of Dallas seal, in place of the City of Dallas’s official flag,” Guevara told The Dallas Express. “The event first debuted June 2020 and has been raised every June thereafter to celebrate Pride Month.”
The proposed budget for the OAC increased from $22.5 million in forecast funds this year to $23.8 million in forecast funds for next year.
Guevara said the OAC uses funds to work with LGBTQ groups.
“Through the OAC’s funding programs, we contract for services with several LGBTQ+ arts and cultural organizations and individual artists,” Guevara told The Dallas Express.
LGBTQ organization Dallas Pride recently canceled a “Pride Street Party” themed “A Night of a Thousand Drag Queens” scheduled for August 26 after it failed to raise sufficient funds.
Chris Bengston, the organization’s executive director, said the event would have been a direct response to a bill signed by Gov. Greg Abbott that criminalizes children’s attendance of shows that include “sexual gesticulations using accessories or prosthetics that exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics,” starting in September.
“We were hoping and were billing it as a last hurrah to come fill the street with drag queens,” Bengston told The Dallas Express. “We thought that people would come together. Well, it didn’t work.”