Updated: June 13, 2020 10:33 PM
Created: June 13, 2020 07:24 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The "Unofficial” Socially Distancing Pride/BLM Parade took place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Downtown Albuquerque.
Dozens of cars decked out with gay pride flags and posters for Black Lives Matter honked their way up and down Central from 5th street to San Pedro. Several people standing on the sidewalks with pride flags and George Floyd posters cheered the drivers.
Unlike the Albuquerque Pride Parade that attracts thousands of people to Nob Hill, this parade attracted a few dozen people. Organizers of the Albuquerque Pride Parade were forced to cancel earlier this year due to the pandemic.
Still, organizer Bunnie Cruise said the turnout was bigger than she expected.
“I did not expect that many people to be honest with you. I just expected a few cars driving up and down, and it turned into something bigger,” she said.
The bigger message was made clear by a painting on top of the plywood that boards up shattered windows at the Effex Nightclub.
The windows were broken during a riot that occurred after the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on May 31.
Now, a gay pride rainbow flag with a black power raised fist covers the front of the building.
For Ty the Gentleman, it means unity and hope.
"That flag is very special to me because it lets me know that I have support in my fight. Not only am I a pansexual male, but I’m also a black male,” he said. “I feel like my community understands that sometimes I'm not seen and I'm not heard."
During the parade, black voices were elevated. Members of the BLM movement also participated.
People on both sides of Central near 5th street on the sidewalks held posters calling for justice in George Floyd’s murder and transgender rights. Underneath the flag painting, Cruse placed two transgender flags with the names of Riah Milton and Dominique Fells, two black transgender women who were murdered earlier this week. Milton was from Ohio and Fells from Pennsylvania.
As the crowd celebrated the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, some said the LGBT+ and black communities have a common plight.
“Pride started as a riot against police brutality. It was founded in queer liberation, but it was rooted against police brutality,” said Frankie Flores. “I think, very much, when we are celebrating pride—we are celebrating (sic) honor our black trans-ancestor who fought for us to be in this place right now.”
Nadia Black said they will continue to fight for equality together.
"Together our voices are amplified. If we all stay separated it's easy to deny us our rights, but when we come together we can fight with one voice. We can fight with one message,” said Black.
Cruse did clarify that this parade was not organized by Albuquerque Pride. In her social media post, Cruise asked people to wear their masks and social distance.
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