Grand Junction, CO - June is Pride Month, a time where many members of the LGBTQ community celebrate their equality, but despite the monthly recognition, discrimination is still an issue many people face here in the Grand Valley, especially for LGBTQ members of different races and ethnicities.
"We deal with issues being people of color, we also deal with issues being part of LGBTQ, and all of these individuals in this community deal with the fact that they're women in this community, too", says Jon Williams the Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Grand Junction.
"There's just so much fervor against being anything other than cisgender and heterosexual, they're so afraid that they're going to burn in hell, but they're not. I don't see anybody else in my family coming out in this generation, and it's sad", says Samantha Harris a Coordinator for BLMGJ.
Attendees were able to have a variety of questions answered dealing with gender identity, sexual orientation, preferred pronouns, interracial dating, and transgender transitioning.
"I'm okay with just being who I am, which is gender-fluid. I have a lot of people who don't understand and who question me, judge me, and have things to say all the time about it", Ali Salazar who's a member of the LGBTQ community.
BLMGJ & Colorado West Pride will be at the Grand Junction Pride Festival on Saturday and Sunday to answer questions, provide support, and connect people with resources.
"What I've heard the most is, 'We don't have gay people on the Western Slope, we don't have that problem. I think that would be one of the best ways that you could support the LGBTQ community is to acknowledge that we exist", says Geneva Smith, another member of the LGBTQ community.