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'Persevering to celebrate': Newfound LGBTQ+ organization looking to bring Pride back to Dallas' gayborhood

Board members of Pride in Dallas say there's no competition between them and Dallas Pride. The overall goal is to bring celebrations back to the Oak Lawn area.
Credit: Taylor Levesque

DALLAS — Years of conversations and months of planning has led up to this week, especially this upcoming Sunday.

Newfound organization Pride in Dallas (PID) has been hosting events all this week, but the biggest highlight will be their parade in the Dallas Gayborhood of Oak Lawn. That big party will be on Cedar Springs Road from 1-3 p.m.

Their September celebrations are honoring the traditions that've been a part of the city's history since 1983. 

According to Dallas Pride, the Dallas Tavern Guild moved the city's gay Pride parade to the third Sunday in September. They did that and renamed it the "Texas Freedom Parade" to commemorate a Dallas judge's ruling that temporarily blocked the state's anti-sodomy law.

PID Vice President Sameer Paroo also says it's also important for Dallas to join the other parts of the U.S. that are celebrating their LGBTQ+ communities outside of Pride Month.

"Across the country, we've seen other cities, cities like Atlanta that host their Pride events in October," he said. "We've seen other cities move out of that June space, too, really to make this something that is not just stuck in a month, but something that is celebrated throughout various points of time in the year."

Conservations on bringing Pride back to the Oak Lawn area have been going around for a long time, but there were many reasons why those words eventually turned into action.

In addition to the original parade being moved from Oak Lawn to Fair Park, the longtime company that owned multiple area staples was close to being fully bought out by another developer. There was fear that iconic LGBTQ+ spots like Sue Ellen's and Station 4 would've been replaced.

That original company still occupies those businesses, but that fear led the group's decision to show the area some extra love.

"When it was revealed that that wasn't changing, it was now or never. We need to celebrate these spaces and make sure that we bring attention to these spaces and say that we're not going aware and we're persevering to celebrate," said PID Creative Designer Donnesh Amrollah 

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Pride in Dallas is a separate organization from Dallas Pride which holds events in June. Paroo and Amrollah make it clear that there's no competition or bad blood between the two groups.

Dallas Pride held events and a parade at Fair Park, which PID says was a great opportunity to make Pride accessible to more people. The overall goal for their organization, however, is to have other celebrations back to the home of Dallas' queer community.

"We appreciate what Dallas Pride does," said Paroo. "When they moved the festival to Fair Park, there was a lot of conversations in the community around, 'What are we gonna do now?' That's really where this movement - where we as volunteers came into play - tried to reflect on, 'What do we do now?'"

As an LGBTQ+ person that's newer to the DFW area, Amorollah says there's a comfort in celebrating along the rainbow road in the Oak Lawn area. Dallas Pride is great for a lot of people, but something needed to be done to honor the area that birthed the city's LGBTQ+ community.

"I think the greatest thing is that we get to reconnect to our home base. I feel that queer spaces are our safe spaces," Amorollah said.

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