SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Pride Parade has certainly come a long way. When it started 26 years ago, it was just a march on the sidewalks. Today, a full scale parade blocking off multiple streets with dozens of diverse organizations, families and friends showing their support.
For some attendees like Peyton Grenn, the Pride Parade is a new experience.
“Its my first time the parade has been around since I've come out.”
For others like Erin Noll, a yearly tradition.
“ just love coming. I look forward to it every year. Everyone is so happy and just such a great atmosphere.”
Or for mom Marie Doneen who brought along her daughter, Kyle, combination of both. She has been before but 2017 is her daughters first Pride Parade.
The last year has been full of challenges for the LGBTQ community which is why this year the parents KXLY spoke to thought it was important to bring their children and show them love is love.
Marie shares, “we want her to be diverse, she has two moms in her family. I'm her mom and she has another mom so she's had to learn how to say what its like to have 2 moms and no dad and people have a hard time with that.”
Like the Doneen family, the Keelers brought their newborn baby girl Quinn to celebrate; a move that has taken the parade experience to a whole new level.
Sarah Keeler shares, “its not just about yourself anymore, its teaching her what love is and exposing her to that and hope that she grows up knowing no different, than probably how we grew up.”
While there were plenty enjoying the festivities, others used the pride parade as a chance to protest.
Spokane street preachers
“They do cram their lifestyle down our throat, we are going to preach the Gospel to them,” explained Eddie Blastus who protested with the Spokane Street Preachers.
After 26 years attendees expect it and accept it.
Keeler adds, “they're welcome to do that and that's the great thing about living here. We are welcome to have our parade and if they want to protest they are welcome to do that too. I just hope people can see there is a lot of love and celebrating and happiness and hope the protesters are people that are maybe not sure and that they can see that too.”