Winnemucca Pride held its inaugural event over the weekend, complete with a parade, Grand Marshall Monica Gonzalez and visitor Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, a dog kissing booth, bands, food vendors and people dressed in all colors to support the event. The funds raised throughout the event were pledged to local nonprofit Humboldt Connection Suicide Prevention. 

“I had a little idea two months ago that maybe we could have a little pride parade in Winnemucca, with a vision of 30-40 people walking down the street with a rainbow flag, and what happened was that my community came out and my state came out and we created an entire weekend festival and for that, I thank all of you,” said Winnemucca Pride President Shawn Dixon. “We are a family walking on this earth and we all need to remember that and we need to treat each other with the love and respect that we all deserve.”

Dixon shared the statistics that one LGBTQ person tries to commit suicide every 45 seconds in the United States and that there are approximately 3.8M LGBTQ people living in rural communities across the nation, many of who are “hiding.”

“Our goal is love, our goal is humanity. Our goal is for people to feel comfortable and loved walking down the street,” said Dixon.