HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Pride month is an annual celebration in the month of June to honor the works for equality amongst the LGBTQ plus community. 

Gabriel Adan Sanchez represents the South Texas Equality Project (STEP). They said inclusion for the LGBTQ plus community is still a work in progress. 

One of the changes they are most proud of is pronoun identification. For the LGBTQ plus community, the common he or she pronouns are not how they identify themselves. 

Sanchez identifies as they, she and he. While the pronoun identification has been outspoken about, Sanchez said there needs to be more awareness among people who are outside of the LGBTQ plus group.

“I think we as a society still have to understand that gender and orientation are much more diverse than we’ve often been taught to believe, and that comes for example, with just asking people their pronouns,” said Sanchez. “Sharing pronouns is important, but outside of the LGBTQ plus community, and LGBTQ plus spaces, we don’t see that done a lot; it’s something we could normalize and create a more inclusive environment for all people.”

Sanchez encourages anyone who is struggling to navigate life to get involved with STEP as it provides safe spaces for the LGBTQ plus community including those who are parents. 

“In 2014, I started showing up to STEP meetings, I didn’t know anything,” said Sanchez. “STEP gave me a voice and a platform and a way to get involved; It also gave me a community.”

Sanchez said they are a parent to a 7-month-old and recently created a parent support group through step. 

“I started that group with STEP because I wanted to say, you know, we need a space where parents can just ask questions and like, don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing, because it’s a learning process and so we created that space to give people that, you know, that forum,” said Sanchez.

In addition to the parent support group, Sanchez said there is a worship group that has been created with the help of Mount Calvary Christian Church. The group helps those who want to continue practicing their beliefs. 

If you are interested in learning more about what STEP has to offer you can click here to visit the Facebook page. 

Below are some pride month events happening in our community, 

  • Pride Hub Crawl, June 25 in downtown Brownsville
  • Drag Me out to Brunch, on June 26 at the 19-29 Whiskey Tavern in Brownsville
  • Pride Festival, June 25, Cameron County Amphitheater and Event Center