The Santa Clarita Valley LGBTQ Center held a car parade Sunday from Bridgeport Park through Valencia to culminate Pride Month celebrations.
“We wanted to do something that was heat-friendly, but still visible, so we decided to do a car parade — so that way you could be in your nice, air-conditioned car, while also celebrating pride,” said Kelly Ramnarine, co-founder of Queer SCV, which also participated in the event. “Nobody gets heatstroke, everyone goes home happy.”
Some participants, most sporting pride apparel, gathered before the caravan to decorate their vehicles with chalk markers and grab pride flags to wave through the parade, while others showed up with their cars already decorated.
“Being out in cars covered in flags felt really nice,” said Finley Walker, founder of SCV LGBTQ Center, who added that he hoped the event made celebrating pride more accessible for some. “This was just a chill event, and we wanted to make sure we did an event for people that were still socially distancing.”
The dozen cars participating in the event were also given gift bags filled with donations from queer-owned businesses, such as Sobre La Luna, Olde World Emporium and IStyle Custom Apparel.
For Walker, he felt as though the SCV LGBTQ Center has now grown to a place that can offer the resources needed in the community.
“I just really want our impact to be positive, accommodating and diverse,” Walker added. “These events have been really good to do that.”
While the community has become like a family to Ramnarine, events like this one are also useful in gaining visibility for the LGBTQIA+ community, she said.
“A lot of the problems that we face is feeling really isolated, so it’s one of those things where maybe you’re the only person in your family that identifies that way, maybe you don’t know many other people in the community who are LGBTQIA+ or maybe there are a lot of queer folks around you, but they’re not very visible so you don’t know,” she added. “This is one of those groups where folks who are really confident in their identities are able to safely and comfortably be visible, and it can be really helpful for younger folks and even older folks who haven’t had the chance to get out and be visible themselves, yet.”
For more information on the SCV LGBTQ Center, visit scvlgbtqcenter.org.