The Babios float passes through the San Antonio Pride Parade . Photo by Matthew Busch.

Greg Hinojosa and Daniel Acosta wore matching outfits for their wedding today, July 4. White short-sleeved, button-down shirts (untucked), tan slacks, and sandals, a look both casual and cool for the heat at Crockett Park. After the exchange of “I do’s” and wedding rings, it seemed the moment hit them both as they each wiped away tears from their faces. “We have been together for 17 years,” Hinojosa said.

Another couple, Vickie Keller and Samantha Velasquez, decided to use the ceremony held during San Antonio’s Pride festival for more practical reasons, an upcoming trip they have planned for the fall to the Dominican Republic. The couple had a civil union two years ago in Hawaii, but after Judge Ron Rangell waived the normal 72-hour waiting period between getting a license and being wed for this ceremony, the couple decided to do it now. Samantha wanted to apply for a passport this time that will read with her new legal last name, instead of her maiden one.

The crowds mostly huddled under the trees’ shade, sharing a drink, waving rainbow flags, and sporting rainbow socks, shirts, shorts, wristbands, sunglasses, hairstyles, stickers, glitter and hats. The starting mood was mostly tame, with singles and couples enjoying their space on the lawn. A young Hunter Darling, 17, danced by himself for a moment to the DJ’s song, his face painted in glitter. He’s been coming to the pride festival for three years. “I love it,” Darling said, “It’s a safe place. No one judges here.”

As the night settled in, the crowds grew larger and began lining the streets to await the parade. Three religious men began preaching to the crowd but after a while the crowd began to chant back, “We love you…” One of the men did describe to the police being hit with a beer bottle at some point.

With flickering lights, rainbow flags and a lot of enthusiasm in the air, floats boasting dancers, music and colorful costumes lifted the crowd with their energy. Performers and the crowds seemed to meld into one after a while, all enjoying the moment…it seemed like everyone was blending together.

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Matthew Busch

Matthew Busch is a social documentarian based in San Antonio, Texas. His projects focus on the personal stories often at the heart of contemporary social issues. He works internationally, using a variety...