The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Spectrum members march in county’s LGBT pride parade

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The Collegian Logo

By Richard Marmolejo/reporter

South’s Spectrum club members were among those who participated in the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade Oct. 7 in Fort Worth.

This was the third year Spectrum, an advocacy group for sexual orientation and gender identity, was invited to march in the parade.

“It’s a time where the community can come together out of the very few days of the year to celebrate our only LGBT awareness event and celebrate diversity as well amongst the community,” Spectrum president Tyler Jackson said. “You see people coming outside of their jobs to welcome and celebrate the parade and the movement that’s going on.”

Club member Roy Rodriguez described his experience as a time of relief from the outside world.

“[You get] a sense of unity since the world is very much divided right now and with all the chaos that’s going on around it, it’s nice to have a day where everyone can come together and put their difference aside to celebrate love and unity,” he said.

The pride parade can serve as a learning experience for those interested in what the community has to offer, said member Van Poe.

“People can learn about different sexualities and the companies that support pride like schools and churches that show up to show their support for different types of people,” Poe said.

The event began with a street parade where different clubs and organizations paraded through the streets on floats and on foot.

“My favorite part was at the end where everybody was listening to music and everyone’s hanging around having a good time because you got to walk around and you feel like a family,” Rodriguez said.

The community is also viewed as a safe space where the LGBT community doesn’t have to worry about repercussions, he said.

“You don’t have to necessarily agree with everybody,” he said. “Maybe some people have a different way of living, and it just opens up your eyes. Like wow, there’s so many people who have other ways of looking at things. Some you may not agree with, but it’s still amazing to see them all come together and not spread hate.”

Jackson wants to find ways to get the organization involved with the community whenever he can.

“When I started the club, we only had five members, and once we reached our peak, I felt we needed to move toward the community to let people know that there is a campus that has a great LGBT organization,” he said. “Not only does it help Spectrum look good, but it also helps the campus look good because we’re supporting diversity.”

People often believe the parade is one big party without meaning, Rodriguez said. However, many view this event as a personal reassurance that they are not alone.

“It impacts my life because currently my family and many others around me are not so supportive of my lifestyle,” he said. “So when I get to be around people who are the same as me or share the same beliefs as me, it’s kind of reassuring that I’m not alone in the world, which is something that can really help me keep going mentally.”

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