HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Pride month is celebrated every June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots that sparked the LGBTQ Pride Movement.

In honor of the 52nd anniversary, the Valley Aids Council (VAC) and the South Texas Equality Project (STEP) are hosting events all month long to celebrate the RGV’s LGBTQ community.

Now people can gather and celebrate as last year’s activities were moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It began on June 1 with a Pride Month proclamation from the Hidalgo County Commissioners’ Court. The family-friendly events are taking place across the RGV from Harlingen to McAllen and some being held virtually.

The next event, a rainbow market, is set for June 5 at the parking lot of the VAC McAllen clinic, where 30 LGBTQ vendors will be set up.  

VAC’s Community Liaison Elias Cantu said everyone, whether you are a part of the community or just an ally, is invited. Cantu said he is happy to see the RGV community grow more open-minded.  

“As the years go by, we are definitely making some progress and getting more and more support,” he said.  

While the activities are meant to be fun and will include games, watching a movie, and dining out, VAC and STEP will also be providing information about their services, such as HIV testing and treatments.  

“Because of COVID, there’s a lot of barriers to getting out in the community,” he said. “So, this is something we’re still going to be doing out in the community to be able to provide HIV testing as well. We’re going to be bringing awareness and creating a safe space where our LGBTQ community can be comfortable coming.” 

For safety, some of the events are limited capacity and require registration or the purchase of tickets. Additionally, CDC recommended protocols will be in place.  

Cantu encourages anyone interested in learning more about what the clinic offers or just looking for ways to support the LGBTQ community to visit VAC’s Facebook page

For the full lineup of Pride Month Events, click here