DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The celebration of Dallas Southern Pride Juneteenth festival carried two side effects of the Orlando mass murder. More security and more people.
The number of attendees swelled, and many were people showing unity with the LGBT community.
“A lot of people is coming out experiencing everything,” said attendee Eric Cousizan. “Getting a feel of the vibe, the scene, the love, the culture of love of the gay people. You know? We are all one. We support each other. We go along with everything.”
By Saturday night, the number of people turning out to party and show their support swelled to over 2000. Organizers said that’s as many as 700 more people than last year.
“I think it’s pretty consistent with what we’ve seen overall,” said Dallas Southern Pride representative Kirk Myer. “We are either going to be shocked into silence or are we going to stand up for what we both believe in. So it’s very very meaningful. One, as a black gay man to be able to say we are here and we have this large support.”
The key for many though was security. This is a very well-known gay pride event.
“I heard about the thing on Orlando,” said Natasha James, a performer and party attendee. “And that was my biggest worry.”
James thought about not showing up to perform at the event. Much less stay for the party.
“That was the only way I was going to stay was if they doubled up on security,” said James.
Police and security were at all entrances, undercover officers mingled in with the crowd and patrol cars cruised the streets.
“I felt safe because I saw all the security around and I saw they did hire more security and officers,” said James. “So, I felt comfortable.”
“I’m very excited because I think this is the change people wanted but now they’re rolling up their sleeves and doing the work,” said Myer.
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