From Marfa Public Radio:
All photos in this story were provided by Basin Pride and were taken by Brenda Salazar and Callie Cummings.
While most Pride celebrations usually kick off in June around the country — the Permian Basin’s celebration came early.
On a recent Saturday in Odessa, people lounged in the grass at Noel Heritage Plaza in downtown Odessa, watching drag performers dance. LGBTQ organizations from Texas and New Mexico had booths set up for anyone who wanted to stop by. And attendees could wander around a street fair where they could buy art, barbeque or tarot cards.
Organizers had originally picked April for the festival to avoid the sweltering heat of a West Texas summer, but that forced the event to coincide with the 2023 Texas legislative session, where lawmakers have filed a slew of anti-LGBTQ bills, including legislation that would restrict healthcare for trans youth, limit who can see drag shows and censor how educators talk about gender identity and sexual orientation.
“Legislation of hate and bigotry won’t stop us,” a performer going by A Boy Named Pony shouted to the crowd. “And I know our love will be triumphant!”