ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Even though Pride Month was in June, Albuquerque locals celebrated on Aug. 20 and 21. Pride Fest was located at Expo New Mexico and had a number of events throughout the two days for the community to participate in.
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Saturday morning’s parade drew a large crowd down Central Avenue. For many of the onlookers, attending Pride Parade has become an annual tradition. “We have probably been coming for at least 15 years. We came to celebrate ourselves and our community,” said an Albuquerque resident.
Another Albuquerque resident said he participates in the parade with his church. “To be present here is sending a message out that people aren’t going to send me back into the closet. It’s like I tell people who don’t understand, build a rainbow and fly over it,” he said.
At Civic Plaza, members of the Albuquerque Celebrates Recovery group were filming communities members as part of their Share Your Story event. The organization works with other local entities to provide support to those in recovery from addiction. They’ll use the recorded testimonies on their website and as part of their major celebration on Sept. 30 at Civic Plaza.
Kelly Rivera was one of the participants sharing her testimony. She said she deals with PTSD and struggled to find the support she needed, and eventually started using addictive substances to cope. “Nobody thinks it can happen to them, but it can. Accidents, violence – the things we’re seeing in this community right now that are happening affect us all as a whole,” Rivera said.
Now, she’s recovered and a certified peer support helping other people in the community who struggle with addiction. “It’s not an easy process, resources and the right support and treatment, it’s like the Olympics, there’s obstacles to it,” River said. ” But just coming together, and knowing that you’re not alone is a big thing.”