15 Jun Pinole Celebrates Pride, Juneteenth and Its Birthday
Sister Splenda Derriere, right, of Pinole and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, celebrated Sunday at the inaugural Pinole Pride event.
Photo Essay, Denis Perez-Bravo
Pinole threw a big party Sunday at Fernandez Park, and the city had a lot to celebrate.
The event, organized by the city, honored the LGBTQ+ community with the inaugural Pinole Pride Day. It also commemorated the 120th anniversary of the city’s incorporation as well as Juneteenth, the federal holiday that marks the end of slavery in the U.S.
The festivities brought together a diverse crowd of people of all ages who danced, sang, conversed, shopped and relished in the special occasion.
The event featured an assortment of vendors promoting community services and local small businesses, a small petting zoo, three food trucks, as well as various performers and speakers.
City Council member Cameron Sasai credited Mayor Devin T. Murphy, Pinole’s first Black and first openly gay mayor, with bringing Pride to Pinole.
“The city of Pinole’s Pride Day was made possible by the leadership of our mayor, Devin Murphy,” Sasai told the Pulse. “He took the initiative to champion the creation of the event from the ideation early this year of 2023, securing the funds in our budget for our city to carry out the vision for June 11.”
Murphy addressed the gathering, expressing his admiration for the attendees under the age of 18, calling them the inspiration behind the event.
“Young people, you are not the leaders of tomorrow. You are the leaders of today,” he said. “We need you to know you are amazing. We need you to know you are blessed.”
Murphy asked the people in the crowd to raise their hand if they were 18 or younger. The young children who were there raised their hands and so did the scattered adolescents around the park.
Moved by Murphy’s words, attendee Daniel Martinez, an 18-year-old San Pablo resident, felt represented in a different way than he has ever been before.
“This is my first Pride event ever,” Martinez said.
Martinez had always considered San Francisco too far to travel for such an event and was unaware of any local Pride events until he learned about Pinole Pride.
Attending the event with friends was a remarkable experience for him.
The atmosphere in the park was filled with joy as participants reveled in the inaugural Pinole Pride.
One of the attendees, 55-year-old Pinole resident Sister Splenda Derriere, a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence organization, joined the event in full drag, describing it as a manifestation.
She emphasized the mission of the sisters to be present and create an environment where people feel comfortable being themselves.
“I grew up in an era where I wasn’t comfortable being myself, and now that I am older I can,” Derriere said.
Completing her mission in her own city was an especially fulfilling experience.
“This is a very special day to manifest,” she said.
More scenes from Pinole Pride:
Additional reporting contributed by Kimyatta Newby