Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ and UNIDOS will host a Latinx Pride Picnic on Saturday, June 29, 1-3 p.m. at the Latino Academy of Workforce Development, located at the Bridge Lake Point Waunona (BLW) Neighborhood Center.
“One of the reasons why we are doing this is to commemorate the passing of the same-sex marriage [laws],” Baltazar De Anda-Santana, co-founder of Orgullo Latinx LGBT+, tells Madison365. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalized it in all fifty states, and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses. “We will be celebrating that but also remembering the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in Orlando [from 2016]. We just want to have a moment in time where we can come together and honor pride month but also to make sure that it’s not the end.”
Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County was created to support and enhance the lives of the Latinx LGBT+ community in Dane County with a mission to “build a safe, ethnically, equitable and racial social just place for the Latinx LGBT+ community in Dane County where the LGBT+ community can thrive.” The idea to have a Latinx Pride Picnic, along with co-host UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence, came spur of the moment earlier this week.
“We haven’t really had the opportunity to really celebrate Pride Month so I talked to Vero [Executive Director Veronica Figueroa] at UNIDOS and said, ‘Let’s put something together to really give us an opportunity to celebrate. Something we can do in Spanish and with our community,” De Anda-Santana remembers.
UNIDOS works with mostly Latina women in Dane County and exists to empower the community to break the cycle of domestic violence, end sexual assault and promote healthy family systems.
“It’s very nice to see a lot of pride events and a pride flag over the city, but one of the things that we want to do is to remember that pride is not just one month,” De Anda-Santana says. “We and all of the allies need to come together to make sure that we continue to show that pride throughout the year.”
There’s a lot of heavy stuff going on right now in the Latino community with President Trump ramping up anti-immigration rhetoric and immigration crackdowns looming.
“It’s important for us to come together as a community,” De Anda-Santana says. “Our community is afraid right now because of the whole thing with ICE situation, so we just want to have a time where we can celebrate and recognize the pride – the pride that we have in being an LGBT+ community, the pride that we have in being part of this Madison community, and also the pride of collaborating with other folks.”
There will be a brief ceremony at Latinx Pride Picnic where Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ leaders and members will get a chance to say some words.
“But we don’t want to make it a political thing; we want to make it a people thing,” De Anda Santana says. “We are going to keep it pretty simple. A place where we can celebrate and have fun.
“This is going to be an event where everybody is welcome; you don’t have to be Latino to participate,” De Anda Santana continues. “Everybody is welcome. No matter what color or orientation you may be.
“We even welcome straight people,” he adds, laughing. “We are all part of this community – that does have its challenges sometimes – but still is a beautiful community.”
The Latinx Pride Picnic will feature great music, food, some picnic games and free Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ t-shirts.
“We invite people to bring a dish to share,” De Anda Santana says
“It will be a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere,” he continues. “It will be a great opportunity for us to come together. It’s an opportunity for us to share some of our life experiences with each other.”
Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ and UNIDOS will host Latinx Pride Picnic on Saturday, June 29, 1-3 p.m. at 1917 Lake Point Dr. in Madison.