The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU’s SPECTRUM participates in Dallas Pride Parade 2012

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Renatta Nance
SPECTRUM students gathered for the Pride Parade.

SPECTRUM students gathered for the Pride Parade. (Renatta Nance)

It seemed as though a thousand umbrellas were opened over the heads of the crowd that lined Cedar Springs Road. Throngs of people pressed against the partition to get a good view of the excitement that wound it’s way through the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas.

As the rain came down in a steady drizzle, the crowd grew increasingly dense to show their support for the 29th annual Dallas Pride Parade. The Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, which promotes solidarity amongst the LGBT community of North Texas, occurred on Sunday afternoon, despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions.

The parade started at 2pm and was preceded by a festival that began at noon. Friends old and new, crowded under umbrellas and building over-hangs in an attempt to stay dry. Hundreds were in attendance to see the vibrant floats and support the marching activists. Spectators of all ages eagerly reached out to catch the colorful beads and giveaways that rained down from the floats.

SMU’s own SPECTRUM organization walked in the parade, causing quite a splash for being accompanied by TCU’s Gay-Straight Alliance. The tense rivalry was put aside for the afternoon in favor of solidarity, and the marchers elicited excited cheers from the crowd.

SPECTRUM’s Public Relation’s Officer, Eric Douglas, was excited to show the Dallas community that SMU has a thriving LGBT presence. The senior from Portland, Oregon is no stranger to rainy weather, but was pleasantly surprised that Dallas paraders also seemed to be unfazed.

“I was surprised at the thousands of supporters that came out in spite of the weather. While not the best conditions for a parade, the crowd was as passionate and loud as ever.”

Sophomore Alexandria Foreman enjoyed walking with her friends as an ally to the LGBT community, while Samuel Partida, an Anthropology and Women’s & Gender Studies double major saw the parade as an opportunity to be uplifted and affirmed.

“I love the parade-it’s a great opportunity to boast and express that which is constantly marginalized and devalued. Beyond that, the love, pride, and strength that I gather from the parade really revitalize my being. It’s a time when I can meet and speak with those for whom I work as an LGBTQ activist.  It’s such a grounding and paradoxically uplifting experience.”

For some students, it was a fun and light way to spend the afternoon, yet for others, the parade served as a marker of progress made, and progress necessary. Partida remarked, “Seeing all those faces in the crowd motivates me-it’s a sobering reminder of what still needs to be done; what still lies ahead.”

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