OVER 100 people joined Pride Marianas Youth's Strides for Pride on Friday to express support for and honor the LGBTQIA+ community in the CNMI and around the world.

The pride walk/parade from Garapan Fishing Base to American Memorial Park was the culmination of Pride Month events in the CNMI.

After the "walk & roll" to AMP, the group held a program at the amphitheater that included performances led by the Northern Marianas Humanities Council followed by inspirational talks and re-enacted Pride Stories, a family-friendly brief animation on growing up as a transgender, and the screening of a documentary titled, “State of Pride.”

Tyra Lyn Sablan of Marianas LGBTQ+ T-Project said they also paid tribute to their fellow LGBTQIA+ members who have passed away. They are Tonei  Camacho, Joseph Fejeran, Pamela Tenorio, Calistro Cabrera and Lani Igisaiar Okaruru who was murdered in the U.S. years ago. Their framed photographs were displayed by younger members of the LGBTQIA+ community during the parade.

Sablan said the event was a collaboration between community groups and government agencies. The groups involved included Pride Marianas, Pride Marianas Youth, T-Project and the Northern Marianas Humanities Council.

She also would like to thank business establishments such as Bolis R Us and Puerto Rico Bento for their generous donations of refreshments.

“This, really, is a coalition of people who come together to celebrate how far we have come already and to also look back at our accomplishments and look at what else we need to do,” Sablan said.

“What made the event a little bit different was the tribute paid to the openly gay and transgender individuals who have passed away,” she said. “Young openly gays displayed the pictures of those older openly gays and transgenders in the community.”

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A bachelor of arts in journalism graduate, he started his career as a police beat reporter. Loves to cook. Eats death threats for breakfast.

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