Las Vegas, N.M., celebrates inaugural Pride Parade

Ian Porterfield and students from United World College walk through downtown Las Vegas, N.M., last year to celebrate the city’s inaugural Pride Parade and Festival.

Las Vegas, N.M., celebrates inaugural Pride Parade

Decorated cars travel down National Avenue in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday for the city’s inaugural Pride Parade and Festival. The event was organized by a coalition of community members and students from New Mexico Highlands University. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

Las Vegas, N.M., celebrates inaugural Pride Parade

Alyria Stratton waves on her way to Las Vegas’ plaza during the city’s inaugural Pride Parade and Festival. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

Las Vegas, N.M., celebrates inaugural Pride Parade

Audrianna Pacheco and Luciano Pacheco, 2, watch the inaugural Pride Parade and Festival in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

Las Vegas, N.M., celebrates inaugural Pride Parade

Jay Quiles, grand marshal of Las Vegas’ inaugural Pride Parade, rides down the street, flag in hand, Saturday. Quiles helped organize the event as part of a coalition of New Mexico Highlands University students and community members who wanted to celebrate the city’s LGBTQ population. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

Las Vegas, N.M., celebrates inaugural Pride Parade

Kiki Stratton, who’s originally from Las Vegas, N.M., rides atop a car at the beginning of the city’s inaugural Pride Parade and Festival. She’s empress of the United Court of Sandias, a charitable LGBT organization. Gabriela Campos/ The New Mexican

Las Vegas, N.M., celebrated its first Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday.

The event was organized by a coalition of community members and students from New Mexico Highlands University.

Jay Quiles, an organizer who served as grand marshal of the parade, told The New Mexican: “Now … kids here have the chance to feel loved and accepted in a way that wasn’t provided to me. To me, that is more fulfilling than being in the parade itself.”

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