And since this year’s celebrations mark 24 years since I packed my bags in Tulsa to move to New Mexico, I can’t think of any better way of kicking off my silver anniversary as a Santa Fean than going to as many of them as I can.
Don’t Miss the Party Train
“Get down, get down, get down tonight
We’re gonna party, gonna party on the train tonight”*
– The Gap Band
Even though Pride technically is celebrated the last week in June, we Santa Feans like to get a jump on things. “We have a lot going on this year, and things kind of kick off with the Pride Train on Saturday, June 4th,” boasts Kevin Bowen, president of Human Rights Alliance and Santa Fe Pride. “We’re chartering the whole train and bringing DJ Oona along. We’ll leave from the depot in the Railyard, travel to the Galisteo Basin and back. There will be a decorated flat car and people can be inside or out.”
Official Pride Week celebrations start on Sunday June 19 with the Opening Tea Dance at Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (2791 Agua Fria St.) from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. For Drag Bingo fans, Opuntia (1607 Alcaldesa Street) is the place to be before starting the weekend.
Friday’s Pride Women’s Dance benefit for Santa Fe Pride takes place at The Scottish Rite Temple (430 Paseo de Peralta) from 8 p.m. to midnight. And for those still ready to go (after a sensible disco nap) on the night of Pride Saturday its back to Tumbleroot for a special performance of Crystal Waters at this year’s Pride After Dark party (8:30 p.m. -1:00 a.m.). And although organizers are being tight-lipped about the location of this year’s After Burn Closing Tea Dance, mark Sunday June 26 from 1 p.m. to 5p.m. in your calendar. Tumbleroot also will host the closing party.
PRIDE ON PARADE
One of the things I most love about Santa Fe is how participatory our celebrations are each year. We have a small but mighty parade that anyone can take part in. “There’s no theme this year. We’re just calling it ‘Pride on Parade’ and anyone can participate. With a donation of $25, you get two signs and a pride flag for your car,” Bowen says.
The parade starts 11:30 on Saturday June 25th at the PERA Building and ends at the Plaza, where the festival goes all day until 4:00pm. “Last year’s event drew as many as 3500 people to the Plaza, maybe more, and I expect higher turnout this year,” he adds.
Another new feature of Pride 22—on June 25th, on the Plaza, there will be a special Youth Pride Area, on the corner of Lincoln and the Plaza. Youth Shelters and Family Services, Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe Public Schools, Wise Fool, Girls Inc, The Transgender Resource Center, Solace, Resolve, and The Santa Fe Mountain Center, and other agencies that serve LGBTQ+ Youth,” Bowen says.
POLITICS & PURPOSE
Pride is always a great time to get some facetime with our elected officials. This year, Governor Lujan Grisham will be speaking at the Convention Center (21 Marcy Street) from 1pm – 4pm as part of the Envisioning the Future event which will be held on Friday, June 24, in collaboration with the New Mexico Out Business Alliance (MNOBA).
“At a time when LGBTQ people are under attack, personally and politically, it is crucial that organizations advocating for these communities are connected and collaborating.
I’m excited to participate in Envisioning Our Future, as a first step to more power building in New Mexico for all LGBTQ people,” says Adrien Lawyer, executive director, and co-founder of the New Mexico Transgender Resource Center. pamm myers, executive director of The New Mexico Out Business Alliance, was quick to agree. “Recognition of our LGBTQ+ community empowers us and gives us greater visibility,” she says.
Also attending will be representatives from the governor’s office, representations from Senator Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan’s offices, as well as members of the state’s LGBTQ+ Caucus.
“We are fortunate to live in New Mexico, where we have many openly queer and allied supportive legislators,” Lawyer says. “Pride 2022 is a way of looking forward to a better future for our queer community in our state.”
*Full disclosure—most of the party will be during the afternoon, which doesn’t work as well as a song lyric, but you get the idea.