Recognizing PRIDE Month in Tri-Cities

The month of June is dedicated to support the LGBTQ+ Community

For many, PRIDE Month is more than just parades and rainbow flags; it’s a chance for the LGBTQ+ community to support each other and promote acceptance.

The Tri-Cities PRIDE Festival and PLFAG Benton Franklin organizations have been valuable resources in the community to help individuals connect, grow and learn.

Carly Coburn (They/Them), the Chairperson for Tri-Cities PRIDE, has dedicated their time to providing a safe place for parents, the community, and family members of LGBTQ+ individuals to meet, learn and share. Coburn said people have questions, and they want to be there to help answer them.

“Whether you realize it or not, everyone knows someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Coburn. They encourage everyone, especially community leaders and government officials, to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community and grow.

“To me, PRIDE is family and a search for safety and equity,” said Coburn.

Coburn has faced challenges even within other LGBTQ+ communities. “I was always told I wasn’t gay enough in people’s eyes,” said Coburn. However, it was when they found Tri-Cities PRIDE Festival they discovered their chosen true family. So Coburn’s first celebration of PRIDE was the event they organized in Tri-Cities.

RELATED: City of Yakima raises Pride flag outside city hall

For PRIDE Festival participant Georgina Crane, this month is a time for visibility and to show the youth who may feel ashamed that they are worthy and that some people have already pathed a path for them. “There are people out there who are doing great and being successful and can be proud to be gay,” said Crane.

There are still obstacles to combat, from the high suicide rate among LGBTQ+ youth to the violence against trans women of color, and that’s to name a few. “Statistics show trans women of color only live on average to the age 35,” said Coburn. PRIDE gives the community a chance to bring light to these concerns that, to some, can mean life or death.

“Especially somewhere like this, where it’s not always the safest to be out, right. I think PRIDE is really important for building that safety. It’s also good for building awareness in the community, but for many people, it’s where they build a family and make bonds,” said Jess Loflin, (They/Them) Vice-Chair of Tri-Cities PRIDE Festival.

This month due to the pandemic all the festivities were help virtually, but organizers say they are excited and hope to hold in-person events next year.

You can still participate in some of the Tri-Cities PRIDE Festival activities online. Visit for more resources and ways you can show your support or even if you have questions visit PFLAG Benton/Franklin.


RELATED: Yakima Pride donates new Pride flag to CWU students after theirs was stolen, burned