The Convention Center in Riverside, CA was the site of the Second Annual Riverside Pride festival, Sunday, September 10, 2023. Around 4,000 attendees were at the event, which included scores of booths from LGBTQ and allied agencies and businesses from across Southern California.
Tim Hammond and several volunteers from Palm Springs made the one hour drive to Riverside to staff GALDEF’s booth. As with L.A. Pride, our unique Pride Roses, handmade by florist Glen Powell, were an attention-grabber that attracted visitors to the booth where we engaged them in conversations about children’s rights to bodily integrity and genital autonomy. This event also featured the debut of our yellow and purple Intersex Roses. Offering the roses by donation allowed GALDEF to raise several hundred dollars to support our important mission.
Among the conversations we had were with many younger adults who were fully supportive of keeping children’s genitals intact until they’re old enough to make their own decisions. We shared our message with many parents who had already decided not to circumcise their sons, other non-profits, church representatives, transgender individuals, and even a representative of Big Brothers/Big Sisters who invited us to make a presentation to their organization serving boys and young men in the local area. Our most important connection was made with a mental health counselor who agreed with the need to begin support services for circumcision sufferers and wants to collaborate on establishing such services.
GALDEF looks forward to another season of Pride of events in 2024 as we spread awareness about the need to legally protect the rights of bodily integrity and genital autonomy for boys and intersex children.