Philly Pride 365 serves as a reminder that fight for LGBTQ+ rights is year-round

Thousands marched down Walnut Street in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood for Philly Pride 365, connecting generations in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

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People marching and holding flags.

Thousands of people marched down Walnut Street to the Gayborhood to celebrate Philly Pride 365 on Jun. 4, 2023. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Thousands of people across multiple generations marched from 6th and Walnut streets to the Gayborhood to celebrate Philly Pride 365.

Sunday’s Pride Month event highlighted the LGBTQ+ community’s past and future, building bridges between generations as the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the U.S. continues. The street festival, also organized by Galaei, took place in the Gayborhood between 13th and Locust streets.

2 people holding a 'Philadelphia Family Pride' flag
Rachael Mills (left) and Michael Galvan (right) celebrated their LGBTQ+ families on Sunday as they marched with thousands of people for Philly Pride 365. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Queer families were a focal point of Pride 365. Michael Galvan, the board co-chair of Philadelphia Family Pride, said they were excited an entire section of the festival was devoted to children and their families.

“My husband, my son, and I are able to come together to enjoy the whole event, and he can be with his friends and community that openly accepts and loves them too,” Galvan said.

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Attendee Rachel Mills said none of her kid’s friends bat an eye at her having two moms and wanted her kid to see that there’s a bigger community of people with families just like hers.

“My mom was concerned when I came out that my life is going to be more difficult and expressed that to me,” Mills said. “These days, I would say it’s the exception. When I think about that, our family’s different rather than the rule. I really it doesn’t come up that much. We just live our lives and do our thing and I think that’s fantastic.”

Scene of the crowd at Philly Pride festival.
Jalen Keith says being yourself will help someone else in the LGBTQ+ community. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Jalen Keith traveled from Trenton to celebrate “who we are as people.” Keith said that sense of community can aid the fight for equality.

“We have to instill that in each other, that it doesn’t matter who we are, where we come from, we can do whatever we put our minds to,” Keith said. “Just got to represent you at all time because when you’re you, that helps some that help someone else.”

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Ron Raz grew up in San Francisco and has attended Pride marches since the 1960s. He said as he gets older, he’s happy to see the youth “fired up and ready to go.”

“As I get older, I know my days are numbered,” Raz said. “It’s sort of like, well, I know it’ll continue on.”

LGBTQ+ rights, particularly trans rights, have been under attack in recent years. In April, high schoolers across Philadelphia walked out of their classrooms protesting three Pa. House bills that targeted gender affirmation care, trans athletes, and sexual education. Raz said he believes the fight is headed in the right direction, but it will take time.

A man holding many pro-LGBTQ signs
Ron Raz has been attending Pride marches since the 1960s and says as he gets older, he’s happy to see the youth fired up and ready to go. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Raz said. “You can’t just vote one time. You’ve got to be out there your whole life. America itself is a work in progress, always changing, always improving. It’s had problems, we all know that, and it’s not over that yet. But, you know, we’re working on it. That’s all you can really do. Keep up the hope.”

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