The significance of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has not been lost on members of the LGBTQ+ community. Following the Court’s June 24th decision, many Pride events were energized with an additional purpose. Participants showed support for women’s right to control their own bodies with signs, chants, and commitments to help in the fight for abortion rights. Sadly, layered within the celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and achievements were visible fears that the hard-fought rights and freedoms the LGBTQ+ community has gained would be the Court’s next target.
Two months removed from the Roe reversal, there remains a sense of urgency within the community as the finishing touches for Silicon Valley (SV) Pride were completed. “There is a lot of anti-gay legislation we are seeing in many states following the abortion decision,” said Saldy Suriben, the Chief Marketing Officer for Silicon Valley Pride. “Pride is about being your authentic self, but it is also about fighting for equal rights.”
For the second consecutive year, Pride was an in-person celebration after having to convert to a virtual event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The nearly ten thousand people who visited the Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park found the entertainment, food trucks, and vendors they have come to expect at SV Pride. Children of all ages got to enjoy the Family Garden with arts and crafts designed by The Children’s Museum and the San Jose Public Library. And the Pride parade, always a crowd favorite, went off without a hitch.
“It is so exciting to see people banding together, flying their Pride flag, and feeling comfortable and welcome,” Suriben stated. “We hope SV Pride was a place where people could speak out and raise their voice against what is going on around the country.”
Valley Health Plan (VHP) employees were on-hand Sunday for the Pride parade and the celebration at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez to answer questions and show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
While VHP has been a long-standing partner of SV Pride, CEO Laura Rosas believes it is even more important to show our support at this time. “The Roe reversal has many people fearful about what could happen next,” Rosas said. “As an organization committed to the health and well-being of every member of our community, we have an obligation to make sure the LGBTQ+ community and women know that we will stand with them in the fight for equality and the right to make their own decisions about their health and bodies.”
More information about this year’s Silicon Valley Pride celebration can be found at SVPride.com.