Orange County Pride announced that its 2018 Grand Marshal is the youngest in Pride history, not just Orange County’s Pride history, but the US.
OC Pride’s 2018 Grand Marshal is C.J. Duron, an 11-year-old fifth-grader, LGBT community member and advocate from South Orange County, Calif.
When C.J. attended OC Pride in 2017, it was his first Pride. His parents took a picture with him at Pride and shared it on social media. The photo went viral when James Woods retweeted it and said “This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”
Neil Patrick Harris came to the family’s defense by tweeting “Utterly ignorant and classes, Mr. Woods. I’m friends with this family. You know not of what you speak, and should be ashamed of yourself.”
Soon, celebrities, politicians, influencers, high-profile organizations and the media were heatedly arguing for and against supporting LGBT youth.
“OC Pride is thrilled to welcome the Duron family back as C.J. serves as the youngest Grand Marshal in Pride history and the inspiration behind OC Pride’s 2018 ‘Be You’ theme,” said Jeremy Huntington, president of OC Pride.
C.J. self-identifies as gender creative and a member of the LGBT community. As an advocate for non-binary children, C.J. has traveled to Washington DC to educate members of the American Academy of Pediatrics about working with gender expansive children.
In April, C.J. was awarded the LGBT Center Orange County’s Torchbearer award for his advocacy work in the community.
“It is such an honor to be OC Pride’s Grand Marshal and to be the youngest Pride Grand Marshal ever,” C.J. said. “It’s important to me to be an advocate and a leader and change things for the LGBT community. I want to change how people view the community and show people that it’s okay to be different, no matter how you are different. If I could change one thing in the world, it would be that all LGBT people would feel safe and be safe and have equal rights.”
Awesome C.J.! Be you!
This is the photo which went viral last year