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Pride event creates community feel

Yampa Valley LBGT Pride Committee hosts 6th Annual Gay Pride Event

Nicole Inglis

High winds couldn’t keep the rainbow flag from flying off the west shelter Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Despite the weather, spirits were high at the Sixth Annual Gay Pride Event, hosted by the Yampa Valley LGBT Pride Committee.

The group grilled burgers and brats, and played volleyball and other outdoor games.

Paul Auwaerter, of Craig, said that gatherings like Saturday’s could help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people be accepted in the community.

“There’s only about eight or 10 of us running around out there,” Auwaerter said. “But if people see us out here playing volleyball, they might think, ‘Gee, that ain’t so different from what I did last weekend.'”

Derrick Gorbet, of Craig, was the event organizer this year.

He said pride events are important to residents of a small town.

“It shows that we are not alone,” Gorbet said. “That we can create our own sense of community.”

He said the day’s gathering represented many aspects of the LBGT community.

Gays, lesbians, and transgenders attended, as well as those who were interested or had friends who were going.

Around 20 people of all ages turned out to enjoy the festivities.

Gorbet, who didn’t come out until after he graduated from high school, said that it is important to him to appeal to a younger group and let them know they are not alone.

“I was very uncomfortable in high school,” Gorbet said.

Chris Craft, of Craig, didn’t come out until he left for college. But, when he returned after school, he was comfortable with his identity.

“When I became comfortable with myself, that’s when I was more comfortable in the community,” he said. “I just didn’t care what anyone else thought.”

He said the main issue with acceptance within the community is fear, and that exposure and communication can begin to alleviate prejudices.

“You get a lot of people who fear the unknown,” he said. “Once people get involved, however, that fear goes away.”

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793 or ninglis@craigdailypress.com.


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