LGBTQ+ Delight revelers flash feathers and flags within the streets from New York to San Francisco

“I’m not trying not to be too political, but when it’s actually about my community, I’m very, very upset and very hurt,” said Ve Cinder, a 22-year-old transgender woman who traveled from Pennsylvania to celebrate the cause Attend the country’s largest Pride event.

“I’m just scared for my future and for my trans siblings. I’m afraid of how this country judges human rights, basic human rights,” she said. “It’s crazy.”

Parades in New York, Chicago and San Francisco are among the events being hosted by around 400 Pride organizations across the US this year, with many focusing specifically on transgender people’s rights.

One of the great marshals of the New York City parade is non-binary activist AC Dumlao, chief of staff for Athlete Ally, a group that advocates for LGBTQ+ athletes.

“Promoting the trans community has always been at the core of our events and programs,” said Dan Dimant, a spokesperson for NYC Pride.

San Francisco Pride, another of the largest and most well-known LGBTQ+ celebrations in the United States, drew tens of thousands of spectators to the city on Sunday.

The event, created by group Dykes on Bikes, featured dozens of colorful floats, some carrying powerful messages against the wave of anti-transgender laws in state houses across the country.

Organizers told the San Francisco Chronicle that this year’s theme places an emphasis on activism. The parade was also attended by the country’s first drag award winner, D’Arcy Drollinger.

“When we go through the world in a more authentic and fabulous way, we inspire everyone,” said Drollinger at a breakfast before the parade.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff (Democrat of California) were spotted driving together along Market Street.

Jennifer Kanenaga (left) and AnMarie Rodgers prepare to kick off the Pride Parade in San Francisco as part of the Dykes on Bikes contingent on June 25, 2023. | AP Photo/Noah Berger

In Chicago, 16-year-old Maisy McDonough painted rainbow colors over her eyes and face for her first ever Pride march.

She told the Chicago Tribune she’s excited to be “united” after a tough year for the community.

“We really need the love for this parade,” she said.

On Saturday, First Lady Jill Biden appeared at the Pride March in Nashville, Tennessee, where she told the crowd “loud and clear that you belong, that you are beautiful, that you are loved.”

Many other cities held their major events earlier this month, including Boston, which hosted the first parade after a three-year hiatus that began with Covid-19 but stretched into 2022 because the organization that used to run it disbanded, because she criticized that she excluded racism minorities and transgender people.

A key message this year was that LGBTQ+ communities are uniting against dozens, if not hundreds, of bills currently under consideration in state houses across the country.

Lawmakers in 20 states have decided to ban gender-based childcare and at least seven others are considering doing the same, adding urgency to the transgender community, their advocates say.

“We are under threat,” organizers of Pride events in New York, San Francisco and San Diego said in a statement, which was joined by about 50 other Pride organizations across the country. “The multiple dangers we face as the LGBTQ community and Pride organizers, while varying in nature and intensity, share a common trait: they are aimed at protecting our love, our identity, our freedom, our security and our undermining life.”

Earlier Sunday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law a bill that would make the state a “safe haven” for transgender youth and prohibit law enforcement from providing information regarding a child’s ability to receive gender-biased care receive, could undermine.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams took a similar step this week, issuing an executive order preventing city resources from being used to collaborate with out-of-state agencies on the incarceration of those providing gender-based care in the city receive.

The Anti-Defamation League and GLAAD, a national LGBTQ+ organization, reported 101 anti-LGBTQ+ incidents in the first three weeks of this month, about twice the number for the entire month of June last year.

Sarah Moore, who analyzes extremism for the two civil rights groups, said many of the incidents coincided with Pride events.

Still, Roz Gould Keith, who has a transgender son, is heartened by the increasing visibility of transgender people at marches and celebrations across the country.

“Ten years ago, when my son asked to go to Motor City Pride, there was nothing for the transgender community,” said Keith, founder and executive director of Stand with Trans, a group created to serve young transgender people and to support and strengthen their families.

This year, she said, the event was “packed” with transgender people.

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