New York – Tens of thousands of people took to the streets yesterday, June 24 Sunday, for more than eight hours to celebrate the Pride Parade, emphasizing on diversity and human rights.
The parade honoring lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and queer have come a long way since the first Gay Pride parade in 1970 which was a protest against discrimination. In 1969, the Stonewall Riots happened after police raided Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village.
The LGBTQ movement since then made strides such as the legalization of same sex marriage in 2015 and their gradual acceptance in workplace and communities.
For Nathaniel Bungay, joining the parade meant a lot in expressing basic human rights. “I love our growing sense of community in fighting for basic human rights,” he told OSM!.
His friend, Ashley Strlehlein said she joined the parade in support of him. “I joined the parade in support of my friend Nathan. That’s love,” she beamed. Both traveled from Toms River in New Jersey to join the parade on 5th Avenue.
New York-based Sandra Sok said she felt great seeing people being united and coming together to express themselves. “I wish my girlfriend saw this. But she is at work,” she noted.
Amid cheers and outrageous display of bodies and rainbow colored clothes, the banners and placards speak for themselves too: Gays against guns; Disarm hate; love is love. (Featured photo by Felix Manuel)