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Pride Bigger Than Texas Parade takes on new meaning amid attacks on LGBTQ+ rights

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Thousands braved the heat to attend Saturday night's Pride Bigger Than Texas parade in downtown San Antonio.

"We definitely want the world to know that we are very appreciative to our allies and we support equality for all," said recording artist Jaime E., Mr. San Antonio Pride 2022. "Love is love."

This year's pride parade took on a different feeling one day after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

"Even through all this celebration and joy, there's a somber feeling because we know our sisters are being prevented from having a choice," said Jack Patrick Rodriguez, Jaime E’s manager. "It's heavy on our hearts. Even though we're trying to be happy and celebrate, we still remember our sisters."

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Jiawen Chen
Mr. San Antonio Pride 2022 Jaime E. and his manager, Jack Patrick Rodriguez, begin the Pride Bigger Than Texas Parade on their float on June 25

Jo Meng attended Saturday's Pride festival and parade with her wife Hannah.

"We came to the festival during the day and looked at all the vendors. Had a great time. And at night, we participated in the parade march and stayed in the streets to watch the rest of the parade," Meng said. "We love the enthusiasm and the energy."

Meng said Justice Clarence Thomas' concurring opinion released Friday also weighs heavily on her. Thomas recommended that other precedents, including same sex marriage, be reviewed by the court. At the same time, the official Texas GOP party platform refers to being gay as "an abnormal lifestyle choice" and opposes any legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community.

"Me and my wife are very worried about our rights being taken away. I feel a sense of uncertainty. We're scared," Meng said. "But we also know that we cannot give in. We need to voice our opinions and stand together."

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Jiawen Chen
Couple Jo and Hannah Meng celebrate Pride together at the Pride Bigger Than Texas Parade on June 25, 2022.

Sunday marks the finale of the city's pride celebration with Pride in the Park at Fiesta Texas.

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Jia Chen is a freelance journalist and photographer for Texas Public Radio. She began with TPR working as the Bexar County selected Summer Arts Intern in 2021. Her coverage includes arts & culture, technology, politics, and more. She holds a BA in Communication from University of Texas at San Antonio and has lived in San Antonio for over 20 years.
As TPR's news director, Katz leads the organization’s news and journalism efforts, overseeing the newsroom’s day-to-day management and the development of a strategic vision for the news division. He also serves on the organization’s executive leadership team.