SPOKANE, Wash. — Thousands are expected to join the celebration of the LGBTQ-plus community and their supporters this weekend during Spokane's 28th Pride Parade and Festival.
The big party in downtown Spokane wasn't always like this.
It started in June 1992 with about 150 to 200 people. They marched through downtown Spokane to be seen, to be heard and to be accepted.
The demonstration was inspired in some ways by the Stonewall Inn Riots in New York. A series of riots against a police raid at a bar in 1969. The riots are considered a turning point for the gay rights movement.
In 1992 in Spokane, the LGBTQ plus community continued the fight for their place in society. But being a part of the march was just half the battle. Some people covered their faces, too scared of what people they knew would think. The small march has now turned into a massive parade and festival.
“For us to go from people covering their heads, staying hidden to now we take over six, seven streets of downtown Spokane," said Steven Herevia, Spokane Pride coordinator.
As they head into the 28th Pride Parade and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Riots, they remember where they started and there's still much more work to do.
“We understand that we are not accepted fully throughout this entire region. We understand that. But anyway we can give people the space for one day, for just one day for a set of 10 hours to express themselves for who they fully are, that in itself is a fight enough, that in itself is worth it," Herevia said.