San Jose: Hundreds stream into downtown for Silicon Valley pride celebration

Hundreds of people descended on downtown San Jose for a day-long pride celebration Sunday

San Jose: Hundreds stream into downtown for Silicon Valley pride celebration

Hundreds of people clad in rainbow colors streamed into a transformed Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown San Jose on Sunday, greeted by bumping electronic music and a jubilant day festival celebrating LGBTQ pride.

From supportive mothers offering Free Mom Hugs, to the San Jose State University pride community, to go-go dancers from San Jose’s LGBTQ bar and club Splash, a wide cross-section of the South Bay turned up to party at this year’s Silicon Valley Pride Parade and Festival.

After the event was canceled last year because of COVID-19, Silicon Valley’s LGBTQ community has been hard at work preparing this year’s festival, which featured a visit from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and sported all the pomp and circumstance that comes with a parade.

Victoria Salvatierra, whose daughter Sierra participated in Sunday’s parade, said she was happy to see the turnout in support of the LGBTQ community.

“A lot of love and happiness and good vibes, we need that right now,” Salvatierra said. “I go to Pride every year, especially since my daughter came out when she was 14. There was a time when she came out and I was worried because when I was younger people got beat up. But obviously, we’re seeing a lot of acceptance, and I love that for her.

“She can be whoever she wants to be and be supported.”

Michael Pontez, almost completely covered in glitter and marching alongside his co-workers, strutted into the pride day festival with a big smile on his face and said it always feels great to be supported by the community.

“I started working as a bar back and now I’m a go-go dancer,” Pontez said. “It’s a great environment, really fun and really supportive. We’re all like a little family and we’re there for each other. Meanwhile, we make sure our customers have a great time and have a place for the community to come and feel safe.”