Jared Polis, Denver’s knight in rainbow armor, has been honored with the task of leading the 2019 Coors Light Denver PrideFest Parade along with four other grand marshals.
Polis will be marching alongside First Gentleman Marlon Reis, as well as State Representative Brianna Titone; Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County, and drag performer Peppermint. The parade is one of the most anticipated events to occur during PrideFest weekend. Attendees will want to wake up bright and early to catch the start at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 16 as it makes its way from Cheesman Park and marches to the Civic Center off of Colfax where the festival will then take place.
“Governor Polis exemplifies the progress that the LGBTQ community has made since Stonewall, and we are proud to have him take such a visible role in the parade,” said Deb Pollock, CEO of The Center on Colfax, which produces Denver PrideFest.
2019 is a landmark year for Pride fests everywhere, because it is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Stonewall Riots in New York City. Six days of riots and protests on behalf of the LGBTQ community were a reaction to raids by NYC law enforcement of the Stonewall Inn, which was a gay club in Greenwich Village at the time. These riots spurred what became a widespread and influential queer rights movement that eventually led the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage.
Jared Polis is the country’s first-ever openly gay governor, a proud achievement for the state of Colorado and its LGBTQ community. The announcement of Polis’s induction as a grand marshal came nearly simultaneously to the bill he passed on Friday, May 31 that bans conversion therapy.
The bill was signed into effect at Colorado’s state capitol and makes us the 18th state to further defend LGBTQ youth and their rights regarding sexuality. State Representative Brianna Titone will be marching alongside Polis as a grand marshal. She has also made history as the first transgender woman elected to office in Colorado. Titone has long been an advocate for banning conversion therapy and can now celebrate the signing of the bill in the wake of pride month.
Polis will march side-by-side with his husband, Marlon Reis, who has also been named a grand marshal. He is a Colorado native and influential animal welfare advocate. Mardi Moore oversees Out Boulder County, a group that supports queer people in Boulder, and Peppermint was runner-up on the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The parade is expected to attract more than 100,000 spectators from across the state and, led by this group of grand marshals, is sure to be one of the most empowering and engaging PrideFest parades yet.