Central Coast Pride is taking its 21st annual event into Mission Plaza this year. And with that upcoming celebration (events start on June 30 and run through July 9), New Times decided to focus this week’s cover story on the community that Pride celebrates. It’s actually four stories, starting with how the Gay and Lesbian Alliance pulled together the inaugural event in 1997 and what obstacles they faced. Then, you can meet this year’s Pride in the Plaza emcee (and our cover model) Rosé Aldé, CJ Gormley’s alter ego; join the conversation about pronouns with Cal Poly professor Jay Bettergarcia; and in light of recent events involving a teacher from SLO High, hear from pastors of local churches that welcome the LGBTQ community. Also, read about an art exhibit and community events rounding out the Pride festivities.Read all the stories in this issue.