By Bob Allen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Thousands showed their pride for the LGBT community in Pittsburgh Sunday during the annual “Pride in the Streets” parade.

They marched down Liberty Avenue to promote equality and acceptance.

Hundreds of people kicked off the annual pride march through downtown.

“This is like Christmas, it’s a time everybody can be themselves, hold each other’s hands and really be proud of who they are,” said Christine Bryan with the Delta Foundation.

They rode on motorcycles, carried signs and hoisted a large rainbow flag symbolizing gay and lesbian pride.

“You should be proud to be who you are,” said Ashley Benard.

“You need to be yourself and not let anyone tell you who you be,” said Chris Poppinger. “Be yourself, love it and live and do every day by it.”

The parade featured 150 units. The event is now supported and embraced by local leaders.

“I think Pittsburgh is changing, becoming more accepting of people of different races, different ethnicities, different religions, different sexual orientations and I think the Pride Parade sees more and more acceptance,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Lorraine Starsky carried a sign applauding Ireland for supporting marriage equality. She thinks it will one day be accepted in the US.

“I’m very encouraged by the progress and it shows what people can do when they keep organizing and they keep being in the streets,” she said.

With that support and community acceptance, the pride parade has become a family friendly event.

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