DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Although it was a weekend of empowerment and encouragement, the Dallas Pride celebration also shined a light on concerns voiced by the LGBTQ community, especially with the recent death of transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker.
June is Pride Month for this community, and the city of Dallas hosted a celebration at Fair Park, which is a new venue due to a growing attendance. This weekend was also used as a way for voices to not go unheard as crimes against the LGBTQ community continue to occur.READ MORE: Texas Detectives Dismantle Drug Lab, Seize 50 Pounds Of Meth And Skull Grip Handgun
“Don’t be afraid to be who you are. If you really love that person, you accept them for who you are,” Jesse Oropeza said.
Oropeza said he felt comfortable at the celebration in Dallas surrounded by a loving community.
“I just like the fact that everyone’s spreading positive vibes. You can feel comfortable being here. It’s kind of like you’re in your own home,” Oropeza said.READ MORE: Now Hiring: Mouser Electronics Hiring For Dozens Of Positions
Another attendee, Kiara Johnson, said she flew in from Miami to go to the event.
“I feel really really good. It’s inspiring to see all of these young people living their truth, being who they are, living authentically. That’s what Pride’s all about, you know. It’s about being proud of who you are,” Johnson said.
However, with this celebration, a shadow was also cast as the community continues to voice concerns over attacks on transgender women. Muhlaysia Booker was seen brutally attacked in a viral video in April, and then she was found fatally shot in east Dallas last month.
“It’s sad. It’s so many trans, especially African-American trans women. Things happening to them because they don’t have the means,” Johnson said. “Everyone just needs to love each other. It’s sad… I have no words for it because it’s literally sick.”MORE NEWS: Cook Children's Medical Center Relaxing Visitation Policy, Allowing 2nd Primary Caregiver Inside
Dallas police continue to investigate Booker’s death and, so far, have not made any arrests.