SACRAMENTO -- Hundreds of people gathered in Downtown Sacramento for the annual PRIDE awards and gala; a night to celebrate and honor those who make a difference in the LGBTQ community.
“We’re honoring LGBT leaders in the community and really talking about the progress that we’ve made so far,” said Krystal Peak, community engagement and marketing director for the Sacramento LGBT Center.
Among the four leaders being honored Saturday are Bethany Synder and Kris Maul.
They identify as a queer couple living in Roseville — who have been instrumental in bringing other rainbow families together and giving them the support and resources they need to thrive.
“When you see us on the street, you may not think we’re an LGBTQ family and so it’s very important for us to be out and proud and for others to see that we’re everywhere,” Snyder said.
They say it’s an honor to be recognized in such a public way, but the real reward is giving back to the LGBTQ community that has already given them so much.
“We are here as a living example of what it means to live out the values of love, acceptance and support, no matter gender identity, sexual orientation or whatever,” Maul said.
The night kicked off with opening remarks from the Executive Director of Sacramento’s LGBT Center who took a moment to thank the members of law enforcement in attendance who were notably not in uniform.
“I understand how important it is to put on a uniform every day and the sacrifices that you make,” David Heitstuman said.
The director goes on to say that despite their differences — he hopes to work together to build bridges in the community and move in a positive direction.
“This work is hard, and the conversations are sometimes uncomfortable, but I believe that we can ultimately bring our community forward if we work together,” Heitstuman said.
Looking ahead to next week, the PRIDE community is hosting a PRIDE festival next Saturday and a PRIDE march on Sunday.