LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- Many people are gathering in downtown Lafayette today to celebrate the first-ever pride day in the parish.
Many pride events happened in downtown Lafayette which included live music, raffles, art, and guest speakers.
Michael Coker, an attendee said, that LGBT+ pride has a special meaning to him.
“It means being seen, being accepted being unafraid to just be who you are,” Coker said.
Four members of the Lafayette City Council voted to declare June as Pride Month. Coker said that because of this, he celebrates the day even more.
“I'm not from the city, about 30 years ago, and to know that the city is accepting nice to know that they are standing with us now feel it's an immense amount of joy,” he said.
Another attendee of Pride Day said that she came out to celebrate because she hasn’t always been accepted by her loved ones.
“I am a gay woman, a married gay woman who comes from a very conservative family, to find for my own extended myself and from my family and respected. So, it means a lot to me because it's just, it's nice to not be ignored,” Misty Batese said.
The owners of Sugarwolf, a business on the historic Rue Jefferson St., are the organizers of Pride Day. Allison Nederveld, the co-owner, said that they underestimated the amount of support they would receive from other businesses in the community.
“This actually just kind of snowballed, a ton of people wanted to be involved. We found people who wanted to be speakers and musicians and we have about 50 different businesses downtown who are participating in some way which we didn't expect at all,” Nederveld said.
Nederveld's goal of Pride Day is to offer a safe and inclusive space for members and allies of the LGBT+ community.
“For members to not have to worry about harassment and discrimination and know that they're safe witnesses that they can go into that are going to provide safe spaces for them, and just party and have fun and celebrate being alive and being ourselves,” she said.
According to Nederveld, Pride Day will be an annual event.