It's the festival of thousands of fabulous people, where it doesn't matter how old you are, whether you're a boy or girl, who you love, how you dress, or where you come from.
At a very young age Max Mendez said Austin Pride is something he looks forward to every year. “I like to go here every year, as soon as possible. I like girl stuff, so I like this festival. (It’s) a great great opportunity to go here,” he said.
“I am from a little town about 30 minutes north of here called Hutto,” It was the first time attending the festival for Andy Cotter, “Seeing every age group, every gender, it's really awesome cause I get to see there's old people that are gay, there's young people that are learning about themselves.,” he said.
The 2016 Austin Pride Festival wrapped with history being made. For the first time, a transgender woman won the Miss Austin Pride Pageant. Vegas Van Cartier took the title, “It means everything to me. At the end of the day when I look in the mirror, I feel like I don't fit in anywhere, but I found my home here with Austin Pride,” she said.
Van Cartier said competing in the pageant was a lot of hard work and practice. “It's no joke, it's no joke, these girls come from blood. You have to do bathing suit, evening gown, and talent and on stage question and answer.” But she said it was all worth it in the end. “It honestly changed my life actually like it really did. These people I have always looked up to, these people of our community, and all the fundraising they do and I can finally be a part of it,” She said being Miss Pride Austin 2016 is more than just a title. “Here there's no judgement, there's no box you have to fit into, there's nothing that says you have to fit that cookie cutter mold and you can just be yourself and everybody just loves everybody,” she said.
A celebration of love and people, making Pride something little Max said is his favorite. “My favorite thing about it is celebrating boys and girls that like things of other genders. There are a lot of people that like other stuff, so I think that that's why they created this festival to celebrate their personalities,” he said.