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Groups Work To Make Phoenix Pride Celebration More Inclusive

This weekend is Phoenix Pride — a time to promote unity, visibility, and self-esteem among those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer.

But Pride celebrations across the country and around the world have been criticized for not being inclusive enough, and for becoming too corporate — moving the focus away from what Pride was originally intended to be.

Elsa Gebreyohanes is an activist with Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro. That group, along with a handful of other advocacy groups, including Trans Queer Pueblo, has organized a series of events this year that they believe get back to the roots of Pride.

The coalition of organizations said they are launching a new tradition called LGBTQ+ Justice Week. The goal is to make Pride Week more diverse and intersectional, taking into account the ways in which many places — including Phoenix — do not always feel safe for everyone.

Trans Queer Pueblo and other organizations will be putting on an event at First Friday on April 6 as part of their LGBTQ+ Justice Week.

Gebreyhoanes said that the coalition of groups she’s working with has met with organizers of Phoenix Pride and started a dialogue. But they say they hope to see more work done to create a more inclusive space in the future.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.