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Durango group to celebrate Super Pride

Durango’s Rainbow Youth Center is throwing a Super Pride party at Buckley Park. (Courtesy of Rainbow Youth Center)
Rainbow Youth Center throwing a party at Buckley Park

Weekend events at Buckley Park are becoming a common sight again, and if you drive by the park June 26, you’ll see people celebrating Super Pride, courtesy of Durango’s Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center.

It’s a first for the center, said Jennifer Stucka-Benally, executive director and co-founder, adding that RYC generally puts on a spring event in April or May but held off this year because of COVID-19.

And it also serves another, important purpose, she said.

“We thought we’d make this the Pride event. It is a fundraiser for us and we are hoping to make money,” she said. “Fundraisers, obviously the reason why they’re so important is they’re unrestricted funds. What we’re using the ticket sales for is for a brand new Youth of Culture group. (It’s just a different way of saying Youth of Color). We have two facilitators who are ready to start this group, hopefully, but the end of the summer/beginning of fall. But we needed funds for it, and so we are going to be using all ticket sales for that new program.”

RYC began in 2015, and, according to its website, operates under the mission “to build a safe, non-judgmental, anti-racist, visible space and community for Lesbian, Gay, Two Spirit, Transgender, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LG2TBQIA+) youth, families and allies in Southwest Colorado.” The center currently serves about 50 kids and families, Stucka-Benally said.

If you go

What: Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center’s Super Pride.

When: 5 to 8 p.m. June 26.

Where: Buckley Park, 1250 Main Ave.

Tickets: $15-$50, available online at https://bit.ly/2S2UxgV.

More information: Visit https://bit.ly/3xtcpkg or call 844-4337.

NOTE: Costumes are encouraged! Participants are also encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets, but please leave your dogs home (they won’t be allowed in). San Juan Basin Public Health’s COVID-19 protocols will be enforced.

Super Pride will kick off at 5 p.m. at Buckley, and it will feature live music by Profectic Calaveras and Denae Stucka-Benally. There will also be a silent auction, photo booth and food trucks will be available for food and drinks. Also, there will be a family-friendly talent show and costume contest with a prize for the best costume/cosplay/anime getup. Those younger than 25 who are interested in participating in the talent show should call Jennifer Stucka-Benally at 844-4337 to sign up.

Proceeds from the silent auction will go toward a transportation program for the center, Stucka-Benally said. Funding will be helped through The Payroll Department’s matching grant program.

“The proceeds from this event are going to really, really cool, much-needed things,” she said, adding that Super Pride sponsors include: Alpine Bank, Axis Health System, The Colorado Trust, Four Corners Alliance for Diversity and The Payroll Department.

And everyone’s invited to attend, Stucka-Benally said.

“Anyone! You don’t have to be a part of the LGBTQ community – we want everyone there. We need strong allies to be in community with us and to be pressing on and continuing to fight for more equity and equality because as we’ve seen, we’re not there yet,” she said. “There’s been close to a hundred anti-trans bills introduced in this year’s legislative session. There’s still a terrible health disparities on the LGBTQ community because of how oppressed and discriminated against they feel, it contributes to anxiety, depression and suicide. We want to be partners in stopping that. We want to show these youths that they belong and they matter and that they deserve to live a proud, happy, joyous life at being just who they are.”

katie@durangoherald.com

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