SAN ANTONIO – June is Pride Month and to celebrate, there are many events taking place throughout the city.
One such event is the inaugural Pride on the Eastside Festival taking place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, at the Ella Austin Community Center, located at 1023 N. Pine.
There will be drag shows at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., an LGBTQIA market and free food, games and entertainment.
City Council District 2 Councilman Jalen McKee Rodriguez is the keynote speaker for the festival and will be joined by others including The Queen Fantasia, Amunique Andrews, Joselyn Breeze, The Queen Maria Maria, Whorechata, Xiomora and more, according to a press release.
The festival is being hosted by WestCare, a nonprofit that offers a wide range of behavioral health and human services in 19 states, including Texas.
“San Antonio is the largest hotspot in the United States for new HIV cases,” the press release states. “This issue predominantly affects African American and Hispanic LGBTQIA+ youth which is the largest demographic in the Eastside.”
WestCare officials said the “main factor behind the rising cases is the stigma held within Black and Brown communities about how HIV is contracted in the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“WestCare wants to hold this event to inform the community about ways to prevent HIV contraction and introduce them to the culture of the Queer community to begin chipping away any negative stereotypes in the community,” officials said.
Free HIV and Hepatitis C testing will be available at the festival.