PFLAG Beaumont Pride Fest 2019

Aims to Celebrate Pioneers and Advocates, June 8th 2019

0 325

The streets of downtown Beaumont will be full of rainbows — whether there are showers or not— Saturday, June 8, for PFLAG Beaumont’s second annual Pride Fest celebration.

The Pride Fest 2019 celebration centers around showcasing active ally-ship and advocacy, Jacqueline Hays, PFLAG Beaumont president, said.

“We are shining a light on LGBT history,” she said. “Without those willing to rebel against oppression so many decades ago, there wouldn’t be Pride celebrations and there wouldn’t be any safe spaces for our LGBT family members and friends.”

The festivities will kick off with a commemorative march honoring LGBT+ rights pioneers by celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — from which “Pride” celebrations come. The march will begin at noon at Darrell Troppy Studio/Gallery lawn, located at 1393 Broadway, and will commence through downtown Beaumont to the Crockett Street Entertainment Complex located at 240 Broadway.

A free street fair with an outdoor stage and two indoor stages will be jammed packed with local and out of town bands, performance art, and advocacy presentations.

“Pride Fest 2019 has grown since last year,” Donny Avery, Pride Fest co-chair, said. “Thanks to area sponsors ExxonMobil and Triangle Area Network, we are able to add an outdoor stage and bring in some high caliber talent.”

March begins at noon. Festival opens at 12:30 p.m. Outdoor festivities are free to all ages. Indoor venues may be accessed for a one, $10 door charge for those 18 and older and free for those underage and escorted by a parent or guardian.

PFLAG Beaumont is a local non-profit chapter of a national organization. All proceeds will go to fund education, support, and advocacy for the LGBTQIA community, family and allies, including Pride Fest 2019 and 2020.

Maximo “Mo” Cortez, an intersex bodied trans Latino man from Houston, has been crowned Grand Marshal of the festival.

“It is an honor to be selected as the Grand Marshal of PFLAG Beaumont,” Cortez said. “The value of the organization really resonates with me and is embracing all of me.”

Cortez is an advocate for intersex and trans people’s rights and visibility. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing at the University of Houston Downtown in 2012.

“It is an honor to be selected as the Grand Marshal of PFLAG Beaumont,’ Cortez said. “The value of the organization really resonates with me and is all-embracing of all of me.”

Cortez is a member of PFLAG Beaumont, the Co-Founder of (THIS) The Houston Intersex Society. He is the former the interim Vice-Chair of the Transgender Education Network of Texas; on the Board of Queers with Careers; Mr. OLTT 2018, and is a founding member of Mayor Turner’s LGBTQ Advisory Board.

“Mo works tirelessly for all marginalized communities, and like so many grassroots advocates, his work is in the trenches, Payshunz Nagashima, PFLAG Beaumont education chair, said. “This is the work that creates real change in people’s lives and is often not noticed by the larger community.

“I want all of Beaumont to meet Mo Cortez, get familiar with his work, and support what he is doing for all of us.”

Cortez said he first came out as a lesbian, then he came out about being Intersex, then he transitioned to a trans man.

“All of these identities are already treated like family with PFLAG Beaumont,” he said. “That is something I never had back in my own hometown of San Angelo, Texas, growing up.”

One of Cortez’s goals is to live in a world where nonconsensual genital surgeries are no longer performed on intersex children of indeterminate sex; an end to other unnecessary surgeries commonly performed on intersex people.

“My ultimate dream is to help found a specialty clinic in the Texas Medical Center that will serve as a Center of Excellence for intersex and Trans patients with these important stakeholders in staff as advisors,” Cortez said.

For more information, visit PFLAG Beaumont’s Facebook page, visit pflagbmt.org, or email bmtpridefest@gmail.com