LGBTQ+ communities, allies around US taking steps to promote safety at Pride 2024 events

There’s an air of defiance among those organizing or planning to attend Pride events around the country this year, despite underlying fears that occasionally prompt chills eight years after the mass shooting that killed 49 people at Pulse, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Organizers of Colorado’s Pikes Peak Pride Festival are making plans to mark the event’s 34th anniversary in Colorado Springs, where a gunman killed five and injured 25 at LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q in November 2022.

“The importance of Pride and celebrating our identity is more important than any fear,” said Pikes Peak Pride board member Justin Burns.

While organizers have hired a private security force and are coordinating with law enforcement and other groups to avoid potential disruptions, Burns said there’s only so much those forces can do.

“We all have to have each other’s backs,” he said.

At a time of continuing anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and a spate of legislative measures targeting the trans community, LGBTQ+ groups and their advocates say it’s more important than ever to maintain a proud sense of identity while remaining vigilant in the face of unknown threats.

Click here to read the full piece. This story was originally published by USA Today on June 1, 2024.