Throughout June, Aveda Artists and students will be celebrating Pride Month. Here, two busy salons share what Pride means to them.

“Pride is about living honestly with integrity and respecting all humans everyday. It’s about equality for everyone, and love and acceptance without fear of prejudice or discrimination. — Gila Rūt Aveda Salons, San Diego, California

Happiness and Freedom
At every level, San Diego-based salon Gila Rūt lives true to the definition of its name: Gila means “happiness,” Rūt means “freedom.” While creating gorgeous hairstyles for the community, Gila Rūt’s flagship location has been in the heart of San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood for more than 23 years. Each year the city’s LGBT Pride Parade marches in front of the salon and the owners and staff rejoice in celebrating with their community and visiting spectators of more than 100,000 festival attendees.

“We believe in our mantra— the freedom to express, the freedom to create, the freedom to choose— and when we marched in the 2013 Pride Parade, we added one more, the freedom to marry,” says Michael Abshire-Hart, Director of Marketing, Events, & Sales, Gila Rūt Aveda Salons.

Along with the parade festivities, the salon celebrates all month long. Gila Rūt changes its logo to a rainbow version, decorates all locations and holds special raffle giveaways to support local partners, like The LGBT Center located a few blocks away from the Hillcrest salon.

“Pride is the ability to be who we all are as individuals without judgment.”
— Gary Manuel Salon, Seattle, Washington

Marching Proud
Gary Manuel Salon has taken part in Seattle’s Pride parade for the past 10 years, with three of those years having the honor of walking with the Pride Rainbow Flag. “Carrying the flag is a reminder to all of us here in Seattle that we are free to marry (I did just last year!), adopt children and have a job,” says J’Keren Sears, Leader for Gary Manuel Salon.

J’Keren notes how the parade and the flag itself signifies that everyone, no matter what sexual orientation or gender, is in this world together. “The parade and marching serves as a reminder that through acceptance we can live safely and in harmony. Its importance is immense,” J’Keren says.

Along with numerous other Pride activities the salon has retail items for sale that support the nonprofit organization Lifelong Aids Alliance (LLA). The salon will also hold its annual drag show that benefits LLA.

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