Donning a sequined mini skirt and towering 60s-style bouffant, KT Starr was stopping traffic on Canyon Boulevard — literally.
Starr was one of many among a crowd of rainbow-clad pedestrians taking part in Out Boulder County’s 2022 Pride Visibility March, where hundreds of people walked through downtown Boulder in a celebration of LGBTQAI+ visibility.
While traversing the crosswalk, cars stopped at the light at the intersection of 14th Street and Canyon Boulevard honked enthusiastically while Starr waved and shouted “I was born this way, baby!”
Starr said that they and their younger sister both drove together from Denver to attend the festival and participate in the visibility walk. Starr, who is pansexual and nonbinary, said that marching alongside other members of the LGBTQAI+ community was meaningful, especially as an older sibling.
“I have known who I am for a very long time. I want to make sure that my sister knows — and that younger people know — that it’s okay to be who you are,” Starr said. “You don’t have to hide. Instead, you should be proud of who you are. Everything that makes you unique is something to be celebrated.”
“I will drive her to as many visibility events as she wants to go to, because it breaks my heart to think of her ever having to hide herself from me or our family,” Starr added. “I want her to have the support that I didn’t when I came out.”
The visibility walk preceded a Pride Festival at the Glen Huntington Band Shell, where even more people flocked to celebrate and support the Boulder LGBTQAI+ community. The event featured performers, dancing and face painting; as well as booths from community partners, jewelry and clothing vendors, food trucks, and the occasional dog in a stroller sighting.
Sunday’s visibility walk and Pride Festival marked the conclusion to an eventful Pride week in Boulder County, all of which were organized by Out Boulder County.
Juan Moreno, corporate sponsorships and special events manager for Out Boulder County, said that Out Boulder County has been planning the return of Pride Fest for the past year. Despite Sunday’s spotty weather forecast, the event had an even higher turnout than in 2019, when Pride was last hosted in person. The previous two year’s festivals were canceled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s amazing to see, and the fact that there are so many people out here is incredible. I would say that in 2019 we didn’t have the biergarten full all day, and today, it was (at capacity) for the entire day — regardless of the rain and regardless of the thunder.”
Moreno said that to see the community response has made the past twelve months planning and organizing more than worthwhile.
“It’s been a lot of hard work; I’m very exhausted,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s amazing to see people out here showing up. People want to be visible, people want to be seen, and people want to be celebrated. It’s a great feeling, and it makes all of this work so worth it.”