By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) – Every June when the weather warms up, Pride Month kicks off in Denver. Joe Lee who came out to the festival Saturday says,” It’s a judgement free safe space for everybody.”

(credit: CBS)

Pride was created to promote love and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in America and commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. In 2019, the kickoff to Pride in Denver landed on Father’s Day weekend.

(credit: CBS)

One person who marched in the parade was a man named J.J. and his son Aston.

“He is fourth generation (here today). This is his great grandma, this is his grandma and this is his mom right here,” J.J. said.

(credit: CBS)

He brought his son to march in Denver’s pride parade to continue that tradition of teaching love and acceptance. He isn’t gay, but his grandma is, so they march every year to support her. Like any father J.J. is using this as an opportunity to teach Aston.

“I want to expose my son to everything and understand everything and be accepting of everybody’s lifestyle and how everybody is,” said J.J.

(credit: CBS)

While there were many mothers and fathers doing the same thing on Sunday, J. J. says outside of this safe space some don’t agree with the family values he is passing down to his son.

“Most people are happy about it, most people appreciate it, most people support it, but we have mixed reactions,” he said.

On Sunday, like most days, that doesn’t really matter to J. J. because he is raising Aston to be the best person he can be the best way he knows how.

PHOTO GALLERY: Denver Pride Fest Weekend 2019

“My son should not hate anybody and not be judgmental of anybody no matter what they do.”

Michael Abeyta


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