You may think California might look like the promised land to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; a place where the accepting mindset of cities like San Francisco reign, but even California has its conservative pockets. This, however, doesn’t keep a community from celebrating Pride. From New American Media:
The idea of organizing a Gay Pride Parade in this conservative town at the southern end of California’s Central Valley might seem like a dangerous enterprise. But the annual parade has become a welcome event in the community.
“People in San Francisco might think of places like Bakersfield and think, ‘Oh my god, it must be like Russia,’ but it’s not like that at all,” said Weddell. “There’s a very small, very vocal minority of people who I’ve come to understand are very much a minority; but for the most part, it’s very live-and-let-live.”
As proof, she notes that while Bakersfield Pride is a 10-year-old tradition, it has never drawn protesters.
She cautions, however, that the community in general seems to be much more tolerant of gay women than men. And members of the transgender community, she says, continue to be targets of harassment and ridicule.