AUSTIN, Texas -- For many, the act of pride is revolutionary. For those who have struggled with identity it’s also a discovery.
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“I always thought that being gay was wrong and that I was alone. When I walked in and saw all of those things it just made me feel part of something bigger and it made me feel OK with being gay,” says Roberto Ortiz.
Celebrating that journey this year is complicated. Thousands will be marching for their right to exist out in the open for everyone to see.
“That anxiety is always kind of there just because the state that we’re in in this country in terms of gun violence,” says Ethan Roberts.
For gay people, it’s yet another layer of discrimination.
“I can’t tell you when was the last time someone called me a f-g or some other mean word but I have been told to go back to my country. I have been called a wetback,” says Ortiz.
But history offers a unique take on pride. For all of its show of love and acceptance, it started as a riot 50 years ago this year.
“It was a courageous act of collectivism and I think that collective courage in the face of adversity is what allows us to overcome,” says Roberts.
For many, the message of Pride is that together love conquers fear.
“Once you step out there there’s so much love at the parade and the festival. You forget that there are people out there who don’t want you there. There’s so much love, really, so much love and acceptance that you get over that fear,” says Ortiz.