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Students Bring First Pride Parade To Las Vegas, N.M.

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Courtesy of Maysie Bucklin
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Members of PRISM hang a flag after a candlelight vigil on Sunday, April 21.

It’s been 50 years since Stonewall, a night when the LGBTQ community resisted a police raid in New York. It’s the catalyst for many Pride parades around the U.S., and in honor of that anniversary, students are throwing the first-ever Pride celebration in Las Vegas, New Mexico this weekend.

Pride parades are common around the country, but they’re still making their way to smaller communities. College students in Las Vegas, New Mexico are launching the town’s inaugural Pride parade on Saturday, April 27. 

Maysie Bucklin is the co-founder of PRISM—Promoting Respect for Identity and Sexuality Movement—the first chartered club at Highlands University for LGBTQ students. She said she hopes the parade will promote visibility and help fight discrimination. "We’re going to keep moving forward," she said. "We’re going to keep progressing until we feel that we have a place here, until we can feel free to move about the town and about campus."

Bucklin said other students have raised objections to the event, and she’s a little nervous, because she doesn’t want anything bad to happen at the town’s first Pride. But organizers said they are working with local police, who are confident they can keep the peace.

"We’ve had help from Albuquerque Pride, from Santa Fe Pride, from New York Pride, from Taos Pride," she said. "We’ve received so much support, it’s kind of unbelievable."

Next, the club plans to work with the schools and the community off campus to understand new state laws protecting LGBTQ people.

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Friday, April 26

  • 7 p.m.—Las Vegas Pride Pageant, Wilson Complex

Saturday, April 27

  • Noon—Pride Parade, corner of 5th Street and National
  • 1 p.m.—Pride Plaza, music and booths 
  • 7 p.m.—All-Ages Dance, Palms Ballroom on the plaza

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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