El Centro Hispano to host first local LatinX Pride Festival in Durham

El Centro Hispano in Durham is helping run the area's first LatinX Pride Festival, set to be held Saturday at Durham Central Park.

Organizers say the event spurred over growing discontent with NC Pride, now known as Triangle Pride.

"Some of our folks didn't feel like they were represented, and in many cases welcome in this space," said Eliazar Posada, with El Centro Hispano.

Last year's event was scheduled on Yom Kippur, angering many participants, including El Centro Hispano.

The group was one of several to boycott, which led organizers to move the event to the evening, which made it difficult for youth to attend.

"Part of what we're trying to do is create a space so that folks who don't feel completely comfortable to be themselves in that space have something to do, and have somewhere to call their own," said Posada.

"A lot of the inequities are being addressed in many ways, but we think it's important that our folks get that own sense of ownership over themselves, their community, and be able to plan something out like this."

Friday, staff began dropping off drinks at the organization's headquarters in anticipation of the event.

The festival will include food, music, vendors providing resources for the LGBTQ community, and a mobile health unit doing HIV testing.

"Coming form the Latino community, where it's very conservative and it's very religious, coming out can be and in many cases is a very hard things for families to do," Posada explained.

The event runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and is open to the public.

Organizers expect at least a couple hundred people to attend.
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