SAN JOSE, Calif. - Thousands of people attended Silicon Valley Pride fest this weekend in San Jose. This is the 48th annual celebration and organizers say this year’s theme is about being proud and remaining resilient.
The entire week was filled with Pride events throughout the South Bay. Sunday’s festival was just $5 to get in and had something for everyone. There was a parade, a children's garden and live performances to cap off Pride festivities.
This year’s theme was Live Out Proud.
"Sometimes I’m speechless because I wish I had this growing up. So, this is why I brought him here, to accept everyone, love everyone. Be who you want to be," said Sophia Trevino of Milpitas.
Sunday kicked off with a parade from Julian and Market Streets to Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park. Inside the plaza, rainbow-themed items and goods were sold, and informational booths from multiple city and county agencies and groups serving the LGBTQ+ community were on hand. Earlier this month the American Red Cross also lifted its ban on allowing gay men to donate blood.
"We know that AIDS is not just a gay man’s disease. AIDS is universal and it can affect anybody. So, it meant a lot. I think it’s one step in the right to direction to destigmatize HIV and AIDS but also to destigmatize the community," said Nicole Altamirano, Silicon Valley Pride CEO.
Altamirano says this year they also wanted to showcase the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, with R & B singer Netta Brielle, a student at San Jose State University, as a featured artist on the Hey Girl stage.
"We have iconic figures just around our Hey Girl stage. Black Lives Matter, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, and we really wanted to highlight that this year, what Pride is about is protest," said Altamirano.
Adore Delano headlined the main stage, with other artists from San Jose and throughout the region. Organizers say the entire week was meant to uplift and bring the community together.
"Everybody always went up to San Francisco because that was where you want to be right? The Mecca of gay, but San Jose is a really great place, and we’ve got culture and this is part of the culture," said Russell Velazquez, of San Jose.