PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pride Awareness March headed through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon. The parade was one of the largest events of PrideFest 2011.
The weekend-long PrideFest celebration wrapped up with what long-time participants say was an unprecedented parade.
Organizers say more than 100 units and thousands marched in what has become the greater Pittsburgh’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s largest event.
“I’ve been rather impressed, I’m not gonna lie,” said Cindy Trauterman, of Lancaster, Pa. “I think it’s cool how everyone is walking around talking to each other, and how everybody is involved. It’s pretty cool.”
“I’ve been to other Prides before, but here, to see the people on the street – it’s great, a lot of support for the gay community,” said Sam, who came from North Carolina for the event.
On board her vintage Harley, parade participant Charlene Yozie and several others led the parade down Grant Street.
“Pride. We are no different than anyone else,” said Yozie. “God still loves us no matter what.”
The parade wasn’t without protest though. A group at the corner of Grant Street and the Boulevard of the Allies addressed those gathered over what they call the sin of homosexuality.
However, several faith-based groups were in attendance to support those marching.
“To me, it means a chance to let the BLGT community know that the churches are reaching out to them, and we want them to be part of the church,” said Carol Chonoska, of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church.
This year’s parade also saw a large number of corporate sponsorships, which organizers say is more evidence that society in general is becoming more accepting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.