A sea of rainbow-colored flags, tutus and suspenders flooded the streets of the Philadelphia Gayborhood Sunday morning to kick off the the 30th annual Philly PrideDay Parade and Festival.
All along the parade route, beads were thrown, bubbles were blow, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” was blasting out of car speakers and nearly every single person was dancing and screaming in celebration of love and life.
The festivities mean different things to different people. For David Baez, a high school student from Philadelphia, it’s a place where you can be comfortable.
“It’s a party,” Baez said. “It’s like a birthday party, but you’re gay, so it’s like, yay!”
For Marcus Malloy, a Philly native who now lives in South Carolina, it’s about equality and being able to feel comfortable in your own skin — something he misses, he said, now that he lives in a “super red” state.
“Everywhere you turn is Trump supporters,” Malloy said. “So being able to come here, and be able to express myself freely…I don’t get to do that where I’m from, not as much.”
Across the country, communities recognize June as national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, which honors the Stonewall riots of 1969 in Manhattan.
However, President Donald Trump has refused to recognize LGBT Pride Month for the second year in a row.
Trump has deemed June is National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month and Great Outdoors Month — but left LGBT Pride Month off the list.
“The [political] climate that we’re in now, it’s really putting a test to us,” Malloy said.
He added that some might have wanted to declare victory when gay marriage became legal in the United States on June 26, 2015. “But it’s not [over],” he said. “We’re continuing to fight.”
Philly has a long history of LGBT activism. This year’s parade started at 13th and Locust streets with motorcycle riders revving their engines. Floats traveled east on Locust Street to Washington Square Park, where it proceeded up Seventh Street to Market and onto Penn’s Landing for the festival.
Scroll down for lots of colorful photos of the love, fun, dancing and celebrating at Philly’s 2018 celebration of pride.