Photos: Thousands attend first Rockford Pride Fest

June 13, 2012

Thousands attended the first Rockford Pride Fest gay rights event Saturday, June 9, at Davis Park in downtown Rockford. The event featured the Miss Gay Rockford competition (pictured), an appearance by Miss Gay Illinois, civil union ceremonies and various other activities and events. (Photo by Denise Guzzardo)

A number of protesters (pictured) gathered outside the festival gates. (Photo by Denise Guzzardo)

Pictured above is drag queen Laura Walton. The event was organized by Pride Fest President Ron Almanza and aimed to inform gay, lesbian and transgender individuals about their civil rights. Organizers are planning to extend the festival to two days next year. Visit for more details. (Photo by Denise Guzzardo)

From the June 13-19, 2012, issue


  1. John

    June 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Do gays really expect to gain support by showcasing those parts of “gayness” most offensive to people; “Miss Gay Illinois” for example. Good luck trying to mainstream Drag-Queens and their flamboyant mockery of all things heterosexual.

    Too bad they didn’t try to play up similarities, like gays who hold done regular jobs to support their families, or gays who take their parenting responsibilities seriously, or look after aging parents.

    Instead, they trot out the drag-queens!
    How pathetic!

  2. LauraWalton

    June 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    As one of the Drag Queens, I’m not mocking anything. I am expressing my own unique personality and pride in who I am. Learn your history, read about the Stonewall riots. Without drag queens we might not have a Gay Pride Day

  3. C

    June 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Wow, unbelievable comment. What is wrong with diversity. Why does it scare you. Not saying it is right for you but it might be okay for someone else. Who says the homogeneous hetero nuclear family works???? Divorce rates say otherwise. Heteros cant get it right so why do they dictate to others??? that is not even the only point of pride. Its love yourself and one another. No hate! There is many colors of the rainbow, might not be right for you but dont snub others who are different from you when you dont understand where they have been in life.

  4. Bobbie

    June 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I think Laura looks lovely and she should be able to wear / express whatever she likes to.

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