‘This is who I am’: Rainbows, defiance abound in Helena as MT Pride celebrates 30 years

Nolan Lister

Montana Pride President Kevin Hamm promised “every rainbow in the world converging on Helena,” and for the 30th year, his organization delivered.

The nearly 2,000 attendees of Saturday’s Montana Pride Parade celebrated the state’s LGBTQ community, culminating in a rally at Anchor Park.

While rainbows abounded, just as prevalent was an open defiance of recent legislation and caustic rhetoric from Republican state leaders.

Hundreds of people gather on Last Chance Gulch for 30th annual 2023 Montana Pride Parade Saturday in Helena.

Gary Marshall

Cherilyn DeVris, a communications manager for Montana Human Rights Network, worked a booth for the organization at the rally. MHRN also hosted a Legislative Recap and a pizza and board game party for transgender youth as part of the week’s events.

“It was a horrible legislative session of hostile, antagonistic rhetoric, especially targeting transgender, nonbinary and two-spirit people,” DeVris said in an interview. “But what we’re seeing are more Pride celebrations in the state than ever before.”

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