Pride Month celebrations held across Central Texas

Across Central Texas, people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds gathered to celebrate Pride Month over the weekend.

In Austin, the Austin Police Department held its 2nd annual LGBTQIA+ Iced Coffee with a Cop event at a Starbucks on Anderson Lane. The public was invited to have coffee and meet with APD officers who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

"As a big gay police officer from Texas I never thought I'd have the opportunity to stand here in front of so many individuals to proudly proclaim who I am and join me in celebrating the diversity that is the city of Austin," said Sgt. Michael Crumrine, President of the Lesbian and Gay Peace Officer's Association.

APD also unveiled signs for local businesses to display that will allow businesses to indicate that their business is a safe place for the queer and non-binary community.

"I know many times when you happen to be queer-identifying you feel that the systems are not here to protect you that the system and the criminal justice system may not be a door you don't want to walk through," Sgt. Crumrine said.

"Because of the history of marginalized communities, I want to recognize that pain, that anxiety you might have. We are not the same police department we were in 1969 in 1979, 1989, 1999," Sgt. Crumrine added.

In Williamson County, Pflugerville Pride held its inaugural event, and officials estimated roughly 4,000 people were in attendance.

"We are ecstatic to be able to celebrate the diversity here," Pflugerville Pride President Marc Garcia said.

Garcia says it all started as a Facebook group during the pandemic but when they saw the success of Taylor Pride they felt like they could do something similar in their city. He says it's a moment of celebration not just for the LGBTQIA+ community but for Pflugerville itself.

"This really shows that Pflugerville is a place that celebrates diversity," Garcia said. "It's a place where everybody can feel like they've got a place.

People like Hayden Martin who says came out just two months ago at the age of 30.

"There's no time frame as to when you are who you feel like you want to be," Martin said.

Being at their first Pride as a non-binary person was a special moment for Martin.

"It's just amazing to see this huge turnout. Just so many people here, literally just showing respect for the community," Martin said. "It's something that literally just makes me want to cry because I love it."

Something fellow attendee Kim Garcia agreed with.

"It's an amazing thing they're doing, " Kim said. "Just seeing how hot it is and how many people are out here, it just gets me all emotional."