Austin celebrates Pride

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – Austin held it’s first stand-alone Pride event on Sunday June 12. Organizers say that with a couple hundred people showing up, they are very excited about the turnout.

"I never thought that our community would be able to have a Pride festival of this magnitude," said Roxi, a drag queen that grew up in Austin.

She says the town has come a long way.

"Even in the past couple years it has grown leaps and bounds. It takes a village to create a community," she said.

The Austin LGBTQ+ community that has been around for years, but is now stepping into the spotlight.

"I always say that this town is really loving and supporting surprisingly, and it just really makes it feel like really good to be a gay person living in this town," said Rose Johnson, who attended the event.

The Austin Human Rights Commission put on the event this year, and with hundreds of people stopping by, their goal for next year is bigger and better.

"When I joined the Human Rights Commission there was no Pride. There was no talk of one happening. This feels amazing, and I can’t believe we got this many people," said Sarah Hartman, the chair of the Austin Human Rights Commission.

Organizers say representation is important, it makes LGBTQ+ people in small towns feel safe.

"I’m just trying to be more comfortable with myself and who I am," said Kara Drees, another attendee.

"For people who are a part of our community, it just reminds us that it is a fight. And it is something that we need to — instead of trying to tear each other apart and separate us — we need to stand together," Roxi said.

The Austin Human Rights Commission says they are always looking for more volunteers to help put on events like Austin Pride. More information can be found here.