Gay Pride Parade 2014 Kicks Off In New York City And Across The U.S.By: Val Powell - June 29, 2014
The annual Pride Parade kicked off in New York City on Sunday where lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and supporters marched around the city to celebrate same-sex marriage triumphs.
Fifth Avenue became a sea of colors as thousands of people marched and waved their flags to celebrate. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were in attendance as well.
The Pride Parade is a yearly event that starts at Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village. This year, attendees celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that happened in 1969 where the gay community protested police raids, which started the modern gay rights movement. The parade route passed through Stonewall Inn where the riots took place.
In New York, Shayna Melendez and her cousin Yaseena Oatis joined the celebration. “We’re walking to celebrate, to be embraced being who we are around people who are like us, free to express ourselves. Everybody has a different story about how they came out as gay, but we’re all here,” Oatis said.
Other cities also held their own festivals including San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago.
In Chicago, around a million people celebrated their first gay pride parade since the legalization of gay marriage in Illinois just last month. David Wilk and Charlie Gurion were the first couple who got their marriage licenses after the verdict.
Gurion said, “I think there is definitely like an even more sense of pride now knowing that in Illinois you can legally get married now. I think it is a huge thing and everybody’s over the moon that they can do it now.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Dick Durbin were among those who attended the parade in Chicago.
In San Francisco, the lesbian motorcycle group Dykes on Bikes took their usual spot as the head of the parade on Market Street. Apple was one of the corporations to show its support. Around 4,000 employees and their families attended the parade. Chief Executive Tim Cook was also present.
In Seattle, Star Trek star George Takei, who is a proud supporter of gay rights acted as the celebrity grand marshal of the parade. Thousands of people gathered in Seattle for the 40th Pride Parade where the theme was “Generations of Pride.”
2014 has been an eventful year for the gay and lesbian community. Since the Supreme Court struck down their verdict to recognize same-sex marriages in California, seven more states legalized same-sex unions, which brings the total to 19, plus Washington DC.
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