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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Students march alongside political, religious, commercial groups in pride parade

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Colourfully dressed parade participants leave Dunbar Park and head towards the San Marcos City Park. Photo By May Olvera

San Marcos residents marched Sept. 8 through downtown in the fifth annual SMTX Pride Parade.
By the time the parade started at 10 a.m., various groups outfitted with colorful gear and rainbow flags had congregated around the park. Among the crowd were students, residents, local organizations, political campaigns and businesses.
Isaiah Gatlin, communication studies freshman, said he decided to attend the festivities with his friends in order to become acquainted with the San Marcos community.
“I only moved to San Marcos a couple of weeks ago, but inclusive events like this one make me more comfortable in getting involved with the community on and off campus,” Gatlin said.
Gatlin said the event was largely focused on voter participation, as several local and county candidates showed up. Political campaigns in attendance included John Thomaides’ mayoral re-election campaign, Omar Baca’s campaign for Hays County commissioner, Ruben Becerra’s campaign for Hays County judge and Erin Zwiener’s state representative campaign.
Zwiener’s team spent the majority of the parade registering people to vote and spreading awareness on Zwiener’s platform.
“In Texas, it’s still legal to be fired or denied housing for your sexual orientation or gender identity and we need to change that,” Zwiener said.
Starbucks and other businesses attended the parade to engage with customers, employees and the rest of the San Marcos community.
Drew Villarreal, Starbucks barista and Texas State alumnus, said he believes the ethics of the company are in line with those of SMTX Pride. Villarreal said he was invited to march by his store manager. His district manager, area manager, various store managers and other baristas also walked in the parade.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to experience so much love and acceptance from all of the baristas I’ve had the opportunity to work with,” Villarreal said. “I don’t think that it’s unique to my store, but that it really is something the company actively supports and encourages.”
Church organizations were present as well. The San Marcos Universalist Fellowship had a float with more than a dozen people aboard. Parade-goers were also met with people of varying ages boasting posters that said “Jesus Loves You” and “We Love You”
San Marcos resident Molly Cordova said it was important to show up to the parade, even if it was just as an ally.
“We’re here to support the people marching, cheer them on and tell them that Jesus loves them no matter what,” Cordova said.
As the parade approached the town square, a line of students and residents stood on both sides of the sidewalk to greet parade-goers.
Caitlin Dunn, theatre freshman, said she was at the San Marcos Farmers Market when she heard the parade passing through.
“Now that I know Pride is happening, I’ll definitely be going to the festival at the city park,” Dunn said. “It’s really helpful that there will be people registering students to vote since I changed addresses when I started living at the dorms.”
For more information on SMTX Pride and their annual events, visit their Facebook.

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