The largest mass of people is centralized next to the new rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Main and Evergreen streets.
The rainbow crosswalk was installed in June of 2018. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

A crosswalk is intended as a zone of protection, for traffic to stop and allow pedestrians safe passage. The city’s new rainbow crosswalks around the intersection of North Main Avenue and East Evergreen Street might be seen to represent a small “pride parade” of safety and recognition each time someone crosses the street.

On Saturday, the 15th annual “Pride Bigger Than Texas” parade marched down the LGBTQIA-friendly “Main Strip” toward the new crosswalks, with a colorful display of San Antonio’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transexual, queer/questioning, intersexual, and asexual population and its supporters.

The day’s celebration began at 11 a.m. with a festival in Crockett Park that continued through 7 p.m. Featured entertainment included Latina comic Sandra Valls, who emceed the event.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, mayor of Del Rio, Texas, served as co-grand marshals for the 2018 parade. Salazar is a “staunch ally” of the Pride community, according to OutInSA, and was quoted there as saying the LGBTQIA population in the San Antonio is “sizeable … bigger than we even know.”

The variety among the 133 scheduled parade participants demonstrated Salazar’s assertion, as well as the issues, political reach, and economic power of the local LGBTQIA community. Among the participants were advocacy group Dignity San Antonio, the Veterans Administration, Marriott Hotels, and Bank of America.

Other participants included City Council members Roberto Treviño (D1), in whose district the parade occurred, Cruz Shaw (D2), Rebecca Viagran (D3), Rey Saldaña (D4), Ana Sandoval (D7), Manny Pelaez (D8), and John Courage (D9). State Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio), State Reps. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) and Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), and Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who served as grand marshal i n 2017,  also took part.

“San Antonio has a long and proud history of being a birthplace for American civil rights,” Nirenberg said via phone from Austin on Friday, where he attended a conference on fatherhood.

“We have always pushed through sometimes difficult national politics to set an example of compassion and the embrace of diversity,” he added.

Senior Reporter Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with...

Bonnie Arbittier worked as a photojournalist for the San Antonio Report.