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Edgewater Pride Parade this weekend ‘feels like a family’

EDGEWATER, Colo. – What started as a way to stay connected during the Covid-19 lockdowns has transformed into a tight-knit, community-centered LGBTQ+ celebration and parade to kick off Pride Month festivities.

The Edgewater Pride Parade is Saturday, June 1 starting at 10:30 a.m. The parade route starts at Edgewater Elementary School, runs down W. 25th and W. 24th Avenues and the celebration continues at The Edgewater Public Market on 20th Avenue.

“It’ll go around most of Edgewater, but in a big circle,” said Travis Stealy, Edgewater Pride board member and 2022 Grand Marshall. “It takes about 30 minutes by the time we make our way around Edgewater, and then we end at the Edgewater Public Market.”

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Edgewater Pride

A look at the Edgewater Pride Parade route.

That’s where the after party celebration continues where the organization will host different resources for the community.

“We have a DJ, so we’ll be able to party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” added Stealy. “We have resources across the state that have come out – different other nonprofits, organizations, state representatives and the ability to get some resources for yourself for family and really be connected and get to know the community.”

Leading off the parade will be Deja Moore, an advocate for transgender youth and the community fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

“As a woman of trans experience, I think it’s so important that we are visible out in the community,” said Moore. “I think it’s so important because we’re in a time where there’s so many anti-trans bills. I just want people to know that we’re human beings, we’re people, we’re here, really just trying to better each other,”

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Edgewater Pride

Leading off the parade will be Deja Moore, an advocate for transgender youth and the community fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

She added her platform as Grand Marshall of the parade is to help create a safe space for trans people to be their authentic selves.

“I’m really trying to show that being trans is an opportunity to really evolve and show what womanhood is, um, it’s beyond just your body parts. It’s really who you are, and how you feel on the inside,” said Moore. “Just showing what trans visibility is, and how we need to really stop these anti trans bills, anti queer bills, and really just try to better each other, I think and spread love, you know, not hate.”

Moore, who was born and raised in Colorado, works in the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment focusing on sex education.

She’s competed in different pageants including Miss Colorado USA.

“I’m going to rock a pageant gown, so you will see me vibrant in pride colors in the front and we’ll have a flow,” she smiled.

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Edgewater Pride

Travis Stealy

For Stealy, who grew up in Florida and is used to the big Pride events like in south Florida, Edgewater Pride offers something more intimate.

“It was something so different, it was so close. I knew the people that are standing on the side of the road waving,” Stealy told Denver7. “I knew their names, I knew their kids – it felt like a family.”

He said Edgewater Pride doesn’t replace Denver Pride, but it’s “something in addition” that “our community gets an opportunity to be a part of.”

Edgewater Pride.jpg

Edgewater Pride

Moving to Edgewater just before the pandemic started, Stealy and his partner didn’t get a chance to meet his community due to the lockdowns.

It was during a camping trip he learned just how accepting his neighbors were during one of the first Edgewater Pride Parades.

“And when we came back from our camping trip, we knew the parade had happened. And then on our front lawn were a bunch of the little pride flags,” he said. “And so some somebody in the community, some neighbors that really wanted to, you know, recognize us and we got back and definitely had some tears in our eyes because we knew at that moment that we were in a safe place. We knew that we were accepted”

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Edgewater Pride

Edgewater Pride became a nonprofit in 2023. “We’re growing into much more than just a parade,” said Stealy. “We’re trying to meet the needs of the community, and so there’s definitely opportunities for us to, you know, really serve youth within the community.”

The theme of building community was backed by the Edgewater City Council and Mayor Steve Konklin which recently issued a proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month.

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Edgewater Pride

Edgewater Pride just finished its second-annual kickoff party at the 40 West Arts District in Lakewood supporting queer artists, performers and drag performers.

The group is also hosting Edgewater Summer Concert Series at the Citizen’s Park Pavilion on June 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.

For Moore, she is appreciative of all of the support – which she hopes spreads across Edgewater on Saturday.

“I’m happier because I have access. I have a boyfriend that is so supportive,” she said. “Because without support, we fall in depression, and you know, suicide ideation, and it’s really difficult. We got to do better, I think, as a community in supporting one another.

To learn more about Edgewater Pride, follow their social channels on Facebook and Instagram or check out their website at this link.

Edgewater Pride Parade this weekend ‘feels like a family’

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