Pride Month: Student club Pride Hilo preps for upcoming Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ+ Pride Parade and Festival, June 24

UH Hilo students and staff are welcome to fill out the volunteer form and walk with the student club Pride Hilo in the parade and/or help table at the festival.

Group of students stand in front of rainbow colored mural on the library lanai. The students are holding signs made for the upcoming parade: "I Heart Lesbians," "Gay Liberation," "Protect Trans Kids," and others that are too small to be read in the photo.
Members of UH Hilo’s student club Pride Hilo meet at Mookini Library’s lanai on June 3, 2023, to prepare for the upcoming Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ+ Pride Parade and Festival to be held on June 24 in Downtown Hilo. Pride Hilo will be hosting another on-campus pride prep event on Saturday, June 17, to work on a banner and go over the details of parade day. (Courtesy photo/Pride Hilo)

By Susan Enright.

Pride Hilo, a student club at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, is getting ready to participate in this year’s Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ+ Pride Parade and Festival to be held in Downtown Hilo on June 24, 2023.

Lennie Espinoza, president of Pride Hilo, says the student group is busy painting posters for the parade. They met on June 3 at the lanai outside Mookini Library, and will be hosting another pride prep event Saturday, June 17, at the same place to work on a parade banner and go over the details about the upcoming parade and festival.

Lennie Espinoza pictured
Lennie Espinoza

“UH Hilo students and staff are welcome to fill out our volunteer form and walk with us in the parade and/or help table at the festival,” explains Espinoza in an email. “We will be selling pins, stickers, and other goodies [from a booth at the festival] in order to raise money for upcoming club events. We will also be giving out information about community events and resources!”

The parade is from 11:00 a.m. to noon, with the festival happening from noon to 4:00 p.m.

“Pride Hilo hopes to see our lovely UH Hilo community in the crowd, and we can’t wait to represent our community with pride!” says Espinoza.

If anyone is interested in participating in the parade or festival, or wants to learn more about what Pride Hilo is doing, email To learn more about the parade and festival in general, go to the Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ Pride website.

Hawaii Island LGBTQ+ Pride Parade & Festival Saturday June 24, 2023, Parade at 11am, Festival Noon to 4

Hilo Pride

Hilo Pride is a student group at UH Hilo comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, demisexual and all other LGBTQIA+ students and allies. The group was formed in 1991 as the first organized campus-based support network for LGBTIQA+ people on Hawai‘i Island.

The mission of Pride Hilo is to advocate for LGBTQIA+ issues across UH campuses and the greater Hawai‘i community, as well as provide social networking for students on campus.

Pride Hilo worked with the Women’s Center in fall 2014 to organize the first official National Coming Out Day event on campus. The group co-sponsors the Safe Zone Project, which helps to train students, faculty, and staff on how to be an ally for LGBTQIA+ people.

The group has also walked in the Domestic Violence Family Peace Walk and Vigil, participated in the week-long sign waving urging a special session at the State Legislature to pass marriage equality in Hawai‘i, trained in suicide prevention, and organized the first Transgender Day of Remembrance and Vigil in collaboration with the UH Hilo Women’s Center.

Anyone looking for support or more information about the group or to join the club can email them at

Also visit the UH Hilo LGBTQ+ Center website.

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Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo. Contact.

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