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Santee Pride Walk to symbolize unity within community

Dozens of people gathered outside Santee United Methodist Church to show off their pride.

SAN DIEGO — People taking part in the Santee Pride Walk say it symbolizes coming together and unity within the Santee community.

"Santee, in the 43 years I've lived here, hasn’t been known for its acceptance in civil rights issues, but look how the tide has turned and that tide is getting taller and bigger and stronger," said Pride Walk attendee, Christynne Wood. 

Wood found herself in the center of a controversy in January when protests erupted after a teenager thought she saw a naked man in Santee YMCA locker room; bringing forth the opposition of allowing transgender people in locker rooms according to their gender identity. 

"For Heaven's sake, we're meeting at a church, and thanks Channel 8 for understanding. God Bless," said Wood. 

Saturday, church members helped organize a pride walk to promote inclusion in the Santee community. 

"We want everyone to feel welcome here and we know diversity strengthens the community, " said Nanette Burrell, a member of Santee United Methodist Church.

"It's exciting to me that the church had the guts to do this!" said Pride Walk attendee, Michael Middleton. 

Which didn’t come without some pushback.

While Pro-LGBTQ displays continue to be debated throughout the region, these people in Santee are hoping for change.

"Santee is an unusual place! Enough said! This is courageous. It deserves support, so here I am!" said Middleton. 

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