Tulsa Pride Festival Brings Hundreds To Downtown

Saturday, June 3rd 2017, 7:16 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Pride festival marked its 35th year Saturday. It's the oldest of its kind in Oklahoma. 

The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community marked another milestone: the 20th anniversary of the first time the LGBT community marched for pride.

At the largest pride parade in Tulsa to date, you'll find plenty of colorful people, floats and rainbows. At the end of each rainbow, you'll find people who support the LGBT community.

"It's fantastic. We have to work together to do all of this stuff," said parade attendee Amanda Baggette.

Baggett is the president of the Atheist Community of Tulsa. She says the flag is more than just the universal symbol for LGBT.

"That's one of the reasons the rainbow is such an amazing symbol of the LGBT community because we are all a spectrum," she said.  "Whenever it comes to faith whenever it comes to sexually whenever it comes to gender."

Baggett’s group is one of 112 groups with spots in the parade.  All of them diverse. A particular difference this year is representatives from every major religious denomination is participating.

"That shows faith communities are putting into practice what they believe that everyone is welcome in their church," said Toby Jenkins of Oklahomans for Equality.

Jenkins said when the pride marches began 20 years ago, the streets would often be lined with protestors. Saturday there was just one.

He accepts the protestors because just like all the people enjoying the parade and festival, protestors also have a right to share their beliefs. But he's still thankful times have changed.

"Now we've found that Oklahoma families they are just not gonna put up with people making their children feel unwelcome and they are not gonna put up with their children being mistreated."

In light of the vandalism at the Oklahomans for Equality Center and the deadly attack at the Pulse, the gay nightclub in Orlando, there was an increased police presence.