SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – It was a historic day in the city of Suffolk as the community came together for its first-ever pride celebration.
The inaugural event, held at Bennetts Creek Park, was organized by Suffolk Pride. In addition to hosting events, they are currently trying to raise funds for an LGBTQ center in Suffolk.
While they have yet to meet their goal, their community engagement officer says this is a step in the right direction.
“I think this say the city of Suffolk is growing and continuing to become one of the best cities out here this is very progressive for us,” said Mia Feliu.
The festivities started with a ZUMBA class, followed by an HIV/AIDS awareness walk to raise funds that help support the epidemic.
Those taking a stroll for the cause passed vendors of local organizations and some with good eats.
For Suffolk resident, Gray Marquez, this event meant a lot.
“This is my first pride out as trans, so this is really good for me to be out in the community with some people I know,” smiled Marquez.
Marquez says it’s about time an event like this has come to the area and hopes it will encourage more acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
“After everything that’s gone on in the world, I think it’s going to take some people more time, but I think as we as a society as a community progress I think it will help people learn and want to learn,” said Marquez.
Organizers say they hope to run this back, bigger and better every year and ultimately have that pride center so those in the LGBTQ community have another safe place to go.