As if on cue, the rain stopped at 2 p.m. Saturday in Durango, the clouds parted, and a rainbow settled over Rotary Park.
Saturday was the inaugural Four Corners Pride Festival, a well-attended coming together that organizers say is sure to build on its initial success and good fortune in the years to come.
Teachers were there. So were doctors, business owners, musicians, bureaucrats, activists, fortune tellers, stay-at-home parents, coaches, clerks, students, craftspeople, lawyers, babies, construction workers, politicians and hand-shaking aspirants to office.
"It's everybody," said Greg Weiss, chairman of the Four Corners Gay and Lesbian Alliance for Diversity, or 4cGLAD, and one of the event's organizers.
Displaying diversity is the whole point of a pride festival, he said. The event targeted communities in the Four Corners, but attendees came from farther distances.
A festival organizer, Sage Grey, who is president of the Fort Lewis College LGBT student group PRISM, said he hopes the festival will strengthen the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, which is larger than many people might realize. But it also helps build a familiarity.
"It's about letting the community know we're here," he said. "We're everyday people."
Durango Mayor Michael Rendon congratulated the audience of several hundred people for turning out.
"I'm very proud to be mayor today," he said.
Pride festivals are celebrated in most large urban centers, and usually during June, which is recognized nationally as Gay Pride Month. The Denver Gay Pride Festival drew more than 300,000 people last week, making it the city's biggest annual event, said Colorado state Sen. Pat Steadman, who represents Senate District 31 in downtown Denver.
He traveled to Durango with his partner to speak at the festival. Steadman is one of four openly gay legislators in Denver - all Democrats, all representing districts close to the Capitol.
Steadman said Colorado has made progress in accepting gays in its laws but has a ways to go yet, particularly on the issue of gay marriages, which aren't recognized by the state.
"It's going to take a court decision," he said.
Diane Brandt got married in Colorado, but she and her partner enjoy few of the benefits straight couples enjoy, Brandt said.
Laura Latimer and Ellen Paul, employees at Fort Lewis College, welcomed a newborn son, Alexander, into the world two weeks ago. Because the state does not recognize their marriage, their legal costs just to have a child together totaled $2,500, they said. In-vitro fertilization, a procedure many lesbian couples use to become pregnant, cost tens of thousands of dollars more.
June was the month of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, said Cathy Martinez, director of the University of Utah LGBT Resource Center in Salt Lake City. She was a speaker at Saturday's pride festival.
The Stonewall Riots represent one of the earliest examples of public outcry against discriminatory laws aimed at sexual minorities, in this instance a municipal ordinance mandating that no person could wear three articles of clothing designed for the opposite sex.
Violence with police raged for three days at the Stonewall Inn, and the law eventually was repealed.
Hoping to build on the success of the pride festival, members of Durango's LGBT community are planning a Durango Gay Mountain Festival for September. The four days of mountain biking and pool parties is Durango's answer to the popular Telluride Gay Ski Week, said organizer Carol Clark.
Durango's first-ever pride festival featured vendor booths, a beer garden, a bounce house for children, speakers and live music, including record-precise salsa band Durango Orquesta de Salsa, and Sanostee, N.M., queer-punk band, the Discotays.
"We're like the only queer punk band on the rez," said Discotays frontman Brad Charles.
Not accepted by many in their hometown, Charles said most of their support comes from the metal bands they play with.
"We get a lot of respect from those guys," he said.
Most people said they struggle to understand people who oppose gay rights.
Steadman said he can't do it.
Weiss said it's hard, but he tries.
"There's one in every town," Martinez said.
In Salt Lake City, her name is Gayle Ruzicka, and Martinez has interacted with her in panel discussions and other events. She knows the same anti-gay messages and sentiment exist in other places.
"Pick something else, because we've heard it all before. There's just so many more important issues to focus on," Martinez said.