Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County has been participating at the Pride Parade since 2014 when OutReach LGBT Community Center took the leadership of this great community event. Over the years, OutReach has done an amazing job organizing this event and has created the space where the community feels welcomed, loved and accepted.

Every year Orgullo Latinx looks forward to its participation at this parade for the following reasons:
-As an opportunity to make a public statement that the LGBTQ+ Latinx community is a strong and thriving community in Dane County.
-As an opportunity to expose the Latinx community to a large LGBTQ+ event.
-As an opportunity where the Latinx LGBTQ+ community and allies feel welcomed, safe, loved and accepted.
-As an opportunity to witness the love, respect, unity and compassion among every group proudly marching in the parade.

We are aware of the disagreements that have risen since OutReach LGBT Community Center withdrew the parade application from the Madison Police Department, University of Wisconsin Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff. We have also been following some of the circumstances and issues that caused this to happen.

We at Orgullo Latinx have gone back and forth regarding our participation in this year’s parade. At the end, we have decided to participate in the parade, but we have decided we are not going to support either side of the debate. We have decided to participate for the sake of UNITY. It has been heartwrenching to witness our community divided in such a destructive manner. Orgullo Latinx is not going to be part of that. Period. Instead, we are eager to participate in any future dialogue to find a solution to the current situation and to create healing.

Currently, our Latinx community has been going through so much due to massive deportations, family separations and a growing anti-immigration sentiment in this country. Our community is already exhausted. The color of our skin, our countries of origin and our sometimes thick accents have been the cause of discrimination and exclusion. We have always found refuge within our LGBTQ+ community. During the times when our own Latinx community is discriminated against, our LGBTQ+ community was always there ready to welcome us and support us.

This Sunday, August 19, we invite every member of our LGBTQ+ community to march with us. Because no matter who you are, where you are from, what side of the argument you are on, you are always welcome to march with us, as we stand for the Unity of our LGBTQ+ community.

Orgullo Latinx of Dane County hopes that the annual Pride Parade can once again be a place where the whole LGBTQ+ community feels welcomed, loved, included and respected. We hope that this is an opportunity for all of us to value everything we have achieved as an LGBTQ+ community in Dane County. We trust that we will be able to move forward and come out stronger from this.

We hope to see you on Sunday. We will be float #53. We will be wearing bright yellow t-shirts, dancing and singing to loud Latinx music for the sake of Unity, con orgullo.