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Pride fair event to focus on uplifting LGBTQIA+ youth amid backlash

By Nia Watson,


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — This year's Pride Month comes at a time when anti-LGBTQ+ proposed bills are at an all-time high.

Nearly 500 such bills have been introduced in the U.S. so far this year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

States such as Florida -- which recently passed a ban on gender-affirming healthcare for youth -- said minors are not old enough to decide on sex change procedures that are irreversible.

​"The youth now... they are battling so much," said Shanti Huynh.

This weekend, the organization, Mid-City CAN , will hold its 2nd annual ​Queer, Trans, and Intersex Pride Fair.

The theme this year is "Protect Queer Youth."

Huynh is the event organizer.

Over 50 community partners will be at the fair, including San Diego Pride and Planned Parenthood.

It'll feature art activities, games, raffles, and a mural or "queeral," as Huynh calls it.

"We're going to digitize it [mural] and then we're going to put it out there and this is going to be a symbol of our joy and our hope and our resistance to oppressive systems," Huynh said.

​Haziel Garcia plans to attend the fair.

​"I came out to myself when I was about 11 years old or so," Garcia said.

Garcia, now 20 years old, identifies as non-binary.

Garcia recently moved to San Diego from Oklahoma, where they felt condemned after coming out to their very religious parents.

​"My family left me because they didn't agree with my lifestyle, and it was hard because it felt like they were choosing God over their own son," Garcia said.

That's why Garcia and Huynh feel the fair is important so youth and the LGBTQ community can feel loved and empowered.

"I hope they [LGBTQ youth] know that there are people fighting for them, and even if they are youth themselves, they still have a voice. They still have power," Huynh said.

The Queer, Trans, and Intersex Pride Fair will be held on June 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Copley-Price YMCA on El Cajon Boulevard.

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