Lizzo headlines march at Sacramento's first two-day Pride festival
Sacramento Pride ended with a bang after powerhouse musician and activist Lizzo closed the two-day long event with some of her biggest hits. It was the first time that Sacramento Pride spanned two days rather than one. This year is especially meaningful as June 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, considered a catalyst for the gay rights movement.
The hour-long Pride March on Sunday traversed midtown and ended at the Sacramento Pride Festival, which occupied four blocks along Capitol Mall. Parade participants marched enthusiastically as onlookers cheered and showed their support. Both Saturday and Sunday were filled with performances on multiple stages, dance tents, entertainers, vendor booths, inclusive zones, and food vendors.
An estimated 20,000 people took part in the Pride Parade itself, including Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I’m so proud to live in Sacramento, surrounded by people who celebrate our beautiful diversity, who live with pride each day for who they are and pride for who their neighbors and community are,” he said.
Sacramento’s LGBT Community Center had initially declined to allow police officers to march in uniform. In response, LGBTQ members of the Police Department, along with Chief Daniel Hahn, held a meeting with leaders of the center, who explained that their decision was intended to protect those who experience anxiety and fear provoked by law enforcement uniforms, particularly transgender people and queer people of color.
The meeting produced a partnership that embraces the shared values of equity and inclusion and laid out commitments upon which the Police Department and LGBTQ Center can build and sustain trust between the LGBTQ community and law enforcement. As part of this partnership, Department police officers, many of whom are LGBTQ themselves, were ultimately welcomed to participate in uniform at SacPride.
“It’s not always easy but the tough talks help all of us build a better community together” Mayor Steinberg said.
Chief Hahn said the Police Department is “committed to continue our work with the Center on connectedness, youth programs, collaborative community forums, liaison enhancement, policy revision, education and long-lasting relationships.”
The Department also emphasized the progress that has been made in creating a climate where LGBTQ police officers can serve openly. The department has created a gender awareness class and trained about 700 of its personnel on issues related to gender identity.