A look back: Best of South Texas Pride in 2022

South Texas Pride series on KSAT and KSAT.com brings viewers LGBTQ-focused stories, Q&As, and town halls

South Texas Pride is a series on KSAT 12 and KSAT.com that features LGBTQ+ stories in our Bexar County community and beyond. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Covering South Texas Pride for KSAT has always been a rewarding experience for me as an LGBTQ+ journalist.

This year, my awesome fellow KSAT journalists and I had the privilege of covering some new content with some of our community members.

Here’s a look back at some of our favorite South Texas Pride stories this year:

Jorgeous cast on Rupaul’s Drag Race

San Antonio West Side native Jorge Meza, also known as the drag performer Jorgeous, has "sashayed" onto television sets all across the nation and internationally on streaming platforms after being cast on the award-winning series "RuPaul's Drag Race" during its 14th season. He joins this week's South Texas Pride Q&A to discuss the journey to "Drag Race" and some of the experiences on the show.

Jorge Meza, also known by his stage name Jorgeous, appeared in season 14 of Rupaul’s Drag Race after only auditioning once.

The West Side native started doing drag around 16, working at McDonald’s to pay for costumes, and hasn’t stopped since.

Jorgeous spoke with KSAT about his experience on the show right after one of the most iconic lip-syncs of the season against Orion Story, a fellow competitor.

Pride Month river parade/Pride Bigger than Texas parade

This year, our city had two big Pride events in June.

The Bud Light Pride River Parade was the first river Pride parade hosted by Visit San Antonio on June 18.

Eventgoers were treated to a celebration at La Villita and two showings of the parade at the River Walk downtown reach and museum reach.

The second event was the Pride Bigger Than Texas Parade, a San Antonio staple Pride event for several years, on June 25.

Sadly, I was diagnosed with COVID-19 during this event. But my fantastic colleague, reporter Leigh Waldman, got the chance to cover the parade in which Main Street was lined with rainbow colors as people joined in celebrating and standing together.

Meet the first transgender military training instructor in the United States Air Force

Brandon Rodriguez is a military training instructor for the 321st Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland and has been serving for over a decade.

KSAT reporter Jonathan Cotto met with a San Antonio native military training instructor at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in mid-July who is serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration for many.

Brandon Rodriguez, military training instructor for the 321st Training Squadron, has been serving for more than 15 years.

Brandon was born Brandi and was part of a traditional, loving Catholic family. He said while he first came out as a lesbian as a teen, he still didn’t feel comfortable in his own skin.

Brandon started his transition in May 2017. He said the biggest difference between Brandi and Brandon is his drastically improved mental health. He said he now knows what confidence feels like in his life.

LGBTQ+ youth program helping teens improve mental health, affirming their identities

KSAT's Camelia Juarez tells us how safe spaces like Fiesta Youth can help transform a child's mental health.

KSAT reporter Camelia Juarez met with Fiesta Youth leaders who are helping LGBTQ+ youths have a safe space to be their true, authentic selves.

She also met with two teens in the program who said they struggled to find friends who understood them, and their mental health hit a low point.

The teens were able to find their community at Fiesta Youth, where they can enjoy crafts and open-mic nights, get wellness checks and visit with LGBTQ+ guest speakers in the community.

South Texas Pride Q&A: Pride Center San Antonio expanding physical footprint, mental health services

This month, I spoke with Pride Center San Antonio Exec. Dir. Robert Salcido to discuss the center’s physical expansion and what’s to come in 2023.

The center, which provides mental health and social services, is renovating a newly-acquired space adjacent to its current location.

With the expansion, Pride Center SA will be able to increase its counseling and group therapy services and offer more peer support groups.

The renovation is funded through a combination of proceeds from Giving Tuesday and additional fundraising efforts.

Stay tuned for a new season of South Texas Pride Q&As in 2023. Find more South Texas Pride coverage from KSAT here

Happy holidays,

Ivan Herrera, KSAT Digital Journalist

About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.