The first annual Pride in the Park of Fort Collins, also the
first of its kind in Northern Colorado, drew approximately 500
people to Liberty Park Saturday.
The Lambda Community Center, a Fort Collins group that works
towards equal rights for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
community, hosted the gathering. Attractions included four musical
acts, poetry reading by Antler, door prizes, and 24 different
“It’s actually bigger than I expected; I expected a smaller
turnout,” said Francis Southwick, a Lambda Center Volunteer.
CSU’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Services
were present throughout the day.
“We want to encourage the community members to look at us for
education opportunities and look at what we have to offer,” said
Arthur Ben Sintas, an admissions counselor for CSU who was at the
Pride in the Park with GLBTSS.
Yoshi Dember was at the park to promote the group Civil Rights
“It’s really awesome to see this kind of group here in Fort
Collins, that there is this many here in the GLBT community,”
Among people with booths set up were political parties and
various non-profit organizations with strong ties to the GLBT
community. Other politicians walked among the crowds, shaking hands
and talking about their platforms with festival attendees.
Groups running for all levels of government, including Fort
Collins city commissioner, state house of representatives and state
senate, attended Pride in the Park.
The Human Rights Commission, a board that advises the city on
issues of equality and non-discriminatory practices, was also
Throughout the day, high school-aged students stopped by the
GLBTSS booth as well as other CSU students.
“I’m excited to be here today, and that Colorado State
University supports the GLBT community,” said Rachel Cali, a senior
The LCC decided to host the event after a resurgence of
interest, said its senior staff members.
“We’ve been a lot more active in the past year,” said Adam
Bowen, board president of the LCC. “We’re going through a
resurgence in the past couple of years; a lot of that is through
the marriage equality issue. We’ve had a lot of people coming back
to the center, people who were involved years ago.”
Bowen said there are people who are “camped out” on the right
and left of the gay marriage issue, but some peoples’ beliefs could
possibly be swayed either way. He said by being more visible and
more “out,” members of the GLBT community could influence their
neighbors and co-workers to change their attitudes.
The gay marriage issue was one of the interests at Pride in the
Park. Non-profit groups such as Civil Rights Now and Equal Rights
Colorado, which called for the marriage and childbearing rights for
the GLBT community, were active at the gathering.
The event began with an en masse march from the LCC, with some
people carrying signs announcing their sexuality or their stance on
political hot-button issues. Todd Simmons, of Matter Magazine, was
at Pride in the Park to promote the magazine and to support the
“I hope to come back here every year…” Simmons said. “Open
minds are great.”