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When he came out, international pop star David Archuleta was worried his beloved mom wouldn’t accept him — he was wrong. Courtesy TrinityPrideFW.org

If you ask me, nothing can inspire people like a huge party. And in a time (now) and place (Texas) where right-wing fearmongers and hate-profiteers are actively trying to roll back the rights of nearly 2 million Texans — a 2022 study found that Texas has the country’s second-highest population of people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual — a huge, inspiring party feels pretty crucial. Of course, while no one can keep the creep of politics out of anything these days, Trinity Pride Fest’s emphasis is on having fun and celebrating all things queer.

Fort Worth’s DJ CP will give all the performers and maybe you something to sashay to.
Art Ortiz

Since its first go-round in June 2019, Trinity Pride Fest has been a massive extravaganza for everyone to rally around the LGTBQ community and revel in the love and acceptance contained within. Each fest’s entertainment features iconic queer performers, and 2024’s headliner is American Idol alum David Archuleta, who came out in 2021 after years of trying to reconcile his identity with his Mormon upbringing and subsequent missionary work. His declaration came in the wake of his bracingly honest and introspective 2020 album Therapy Sessions, as well as a pivotal anxiety attack during a date-night with his then-fiancée that led him to break up with her. In June 2023, Archuleta announced that he was leaving the Church of Latter-day Saints, further clarifying his identity as gay, and nine months later, he released the single “Hell Together,” in which he thanked his mother for supporting his decision.

“Hell Together” contains this line: “You said, ‘If I have to live without you, I don’t want to live forever in someone else’s heaven, so let ’em close the gates.’ ”

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As any queer person whose identity is not accepted by their friends and family knows, the kind of unconditional support Archuleta received from his mother is not to be taken for granted, especially when it involves rejecting lifelong religious tenets. In 2023, Archuleta’s mom, Lupe Marie Bartholemew, wrote an essay in Q Salt Lake, saying, “How can a loving God be so exclusive? I did not teach my children their whole lives to serve and love a God who is not accepting of them. God is love.”

Archuleta’s journey to self-acceptance is inspiring and offers hope for those who do not enjoy such familial support, especially now, given the ugly lurch toward MAGA-worshiping extremism that has poisoned Texas’ political climate. More than ever, the LGTBQ community needs its members and allies to proclaim “ ‘y’all’ means ‘all’ ” loud and proud, not only in the month of June but all year long. Showing up in droves on the Magnolia Green Saturday evening to hear Archuleta sing won’t keep the bigots out of the Texas Legislature, but it will show that we are all in this together, no matter where one falls on the spectrum of human sexuality and gender identity.

Yet even more than it is a show of solidarity for the LGTBQ community, Trinity Pride Fest is a huge party — Archuleta is an international pop star, after all, and while he is the main event, he’s but one piece of a delicious rainbow-frosted cake. Opening for him is New York City-based alternative soul band Britton & The Sting, whose message of acceptance and empowerment comes packaged in barn-burning, gospel-limned bangers that exhort everyone “to get drunk and go to church!”

Dallas drag icon Kylee O’Hara Fatale will emcee the festival fabulously.
Courtesy TrinityPrideFW.org

And what would a Pride Party be without some queens holding court? Dallas drag icon Kylee O’Hara Fatale will emcee the event while Fort Worth’s DJ CP keeps the beats moving and local drag performers Deja Dubois, JT Davenport, Sapphire Davenport, and Salem Moon stun the Green with sultry sizzle and sass.

Trinity Pride Fest is free and open to all ages, and attendees are allowed to bring chairs, blankets, and social pets. Though outside food and drink are not permitted, there are plenty of vendors offering stuff to snack and sip on. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere celebrating love, community, and living your truth, a time to gather with your friends, drink and dance, and show the world that you’re here, you’re queer, and you just want to have a good time. No matter which stripes on the Pride Flag resonate the most with you, Trinity Pride Fest is a party for everyone. Turn up on Saturday and add your spirit to the good vibes.

 

Trinity Pride Fest
6pm-10pm Sat at Magnolia Green Park,
1100 Lipscomb St, FW. Free.

Read about how Abbott has ordered Texas to ignore the new federal protections of LGBTQ students in our Title IX Fight article here.

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