Millions of people across the world gathered on Sunday to celebrate Pride Month by participating in their cities’ annual Pride parades. People traveled miles to the nearest participating city in order to sport their rainbow wear and show their support. In the current political climate, it seems like Pride month is more necessary than ever, and the 2018 Pride parades definitely lived up to expectation.
This year’s events faced speculation and dealt with complications over the past week. Protests arose across the internet, discussing the fact that police were not welcome at the parades, specifically because of the lack of LGBTQ support that police display in America. Today, participants in the New York parade held a sign reading, “There are no queer-friendly cops.”
The Twin Cities parade announced that police were only allowed if they were not in uniform. Participants also deliberated about protesting considering the recent events regarding immigrant children, but ultimately, the Pride parades continued as planned.
Despite the controversy, this year’s Pride celebrations were truly ones to remember, giving the LGBTQ community much needed support. For example, in New York City, the Pride parade drew an estimated crowd of 2 million people to watch and participate in the march.
The revels were partially led by tennis star Billie Jean King and included celebrities ranging from Lady Gaga to Alexander Wang. Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” blasted over speakers as many arrived to show support for the thousands marching in the parade. Highlights of the procession included a New York Fire Department couple getting engaged at the parade, winning the hearts of onlookers worldwide.
The New York parade, while one of the biggest worldwide, was not the only one with important takeaways. In Mexico City, the Pride parade was joined by thousands of soccer fans celebrating Mexico’s World Cup victory, with participants expressing their joy for the unity between the two groups.
The Boston Pride parade also stood out for its theme of “Rainbow Resistance,” acknowledging the oppression of the current legislation and political administration toward the LGBTQ community.
Some politicians attempted to use the Pride parade to campaign, such as Cynthia Nixon, who recently announced her campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor of New York. Her opponent, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was also spotted at the New York Pride parade, although it seems that they did not receive the attention they were anticipating. In reality, the Pride parades today were not for the politicians, but for the public.
After the last politically contentious year, the 2018 Pride demonstrations are especially important. In America specifically, it seems as though politicians are working backward in relation to their support for the LGBTQ community instead of forward. The immense support and attention that the parades gained today did wonders, showing that the community is there for each other even if government representatives are not.
So, even if you were not able to sport your rainbow and march today, happy Pride!