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When Pride Comes to Town

Several smaller U.S. cities are hosting their first Pride parades this year. For locals, it’s a chance to assert that they don’t need to leave their community to be gay.
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Rafael Marchante/Reuters

By the end of June last year, Alabama resident Chad Peacock had traveled to LGBT Pride festivals in Huntsville, Montgomery, and Birmingham. He knew there were also parades in Tuscaloosa and Mobile. Soon he was wondering, why not have Pride at home in Auburn?

Within a year’s time, he had set up a nonprofit group, built a volunteer structure, lobbied local politicians, and organized two days of events. And so, at the beginning of June this year, the sister cities of Auburn and Opelika hosted their first Pride weekend.