Palouse Pride celebrated 20 years of LGBTQ Equality on the Palouse

MOSCOW, ID - Hundreds of people headed to downtown Moscow over the weekend for the 20th Annual Palouse Price.

Jenee' Ryan tells us about the event and why it's so personal for so many people.

"The first Palouse Pride was a picnic in this very park and we had about thirty people," said Palouse Pride Program Director, Kathy Sprague.

That was 20-years ago.

"This year we have 30 booths set up and we have over 300 people," said Sprague. "By the end of the day we'll probably hit close to a thousand."

The 20th Annual Palouse Pride kicked off Friday night with drag bingo.

Saturday morning community members gathered for a march and a celebration at East City Park.

"We walk through downtown so people will see us and maybe someone's neighbor will see them and realize that the nice lady next door is married to the other nice lady next door and they're okay, they're nice ladies," said Sprague.

The festivities in the park included live music, food, drinks, booths, speeches, drag, free HIV testing and a display of silent protest.

"It's signifying that they won't hear us," said Mistress of Ceremonies, Aquasha DeLusty. "It's signifying if you won't hear us, this is what you're doing to us."

"Add The Four Words" is a LGBT activist group that stages peaceful protests to push a bill for the addition of the words "Gender Identity" and "Sexual Orientation" to Idaho's Human Rights Act."

The bill has yet to get a public hearing.

"It's been eight years," said Sprague. "And they find time to make a dog you know, the Blue Healer is the official state dog now. But we can't get a hearing on whether or not you're safe in the workplace if you come out of the closet."

Organizers of Palouse Pride said there's a lot more that needs to be done in the state of Idaho but they're proud of the impact that they've made here in the Palouse.

This little girls moms said they feel more accepted living on the Palouse than they did in southern California.

"It's weird," said DeLusty. "It's like this total pocket of acceptance. Like, they always joke that this is the little blue dot in a big red state."

"We're remembering how far we've come, but we're also keeping in mind of how far we have to go," said Sprague.

The weekend of festivities ended with a drag show Saturday night and a brunch Sunday morning.