CASTRO VALLEY (KCBS) — Frankie Canto was tired of having to go to San Francisco to find gay social groups and a place where he felt welcome so he and a couple of friends decided to hold a pride march Saturday in his hometown of Castro Valley.

The teens’ message of bringing gay pride to the suburbs evolved into a “Rainbow Rally Across the Valley.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

“We really wanted to bring that support and acceptance to the Castro Valley and show other teens that may be in the closet that it’s ok to come out and this is not the scary town that many believe it to be,” Canto said.

Billy Bradford heard about the plans for the rally on Facebook and attended.

“The community was so supportive. We got messages, we had vendors, Eden Hospital, politicians called wanting to speak,” said Bradford.

The Castro Valley High School rally was complete with music, vendors and politicians. Holly Zeitz, who attended, describes herself as a gay ally.

“There were so many people of all different ages that were so supportive of us that we didn’t even know we would see. We thought it was just going to be a few teenagers, but it turned out to be all ages, sizes and colors,” she said.

Oakland Pride even got involved and donated a bunch of balloons for the event.

Due to the event’s success, organizers hope to hold another even bigger rally next year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

Comments (3)
  1. Eileen Rico says:

    Wonderful peaceful, loving time. I am so proud of my Son Frankie and his friends Johanna and Holly for creating such a wonderful event! You guys are so awesome!

  2. Autism Mom in CV says:

    Awesome kids behind a wonderful energy and project! And thank you Castro Valley ciitizens for allowing the event to go forward in peace. As a community known for its bible belt leanings, the courage and compassion of our citizens while letting these kids have their say and show their pride is to be commended.

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