2024 Philly Pride embraces ‘Be You’ theme showering love to LGBTQ+ community

More than 50 years ago, it started as the Philly Pride parade, and it’s been a huge part of the fabric of the city. Now, it’s called the Pride March and it’s grown exponentially over the years. 

Festival attendees and organizers say this year’s ‘Be You’ theme is more meaningful than ever

FOX 29’s Ellen Kolodziej attended Philly Pride Sunday to bask in the ambiance of the "Be You" event. 

"Be you, celebrate in your own way and hopefully you’ll join us today no matter who you are and what your circumstance is," said Kory Aversa. 

People of all ages, races and religions came out for Pride 2024 to show nothing but love and support for the LGBTQ+ community.

"We need to speak up for people who are down cast quite often and if people got to know who they are I think when you put the faces of someone you love on the issue it becomes very different," said Suzanne Cassidy, West Philly.

 Many parents say they brought their children with them to make sure they know early on what love is all about.

"I think the world needs a lot more love," said Randy, West Philly. "If we can model what it looks like for our kids to be in a relationship, it's all come together for something beautiful. I think they’ll carry that on for future generations." 

Everybody is not the same and everybody has a different story to tell about their journey.

"I came out of the closet later in life when I was 21 years old," said Makenzie, Voorhees. "So just to be able to be a grown adult, come out here just be myself for the first time in a long time was fantastic."

Shawna Stuart knows how many people struggle when they come out so she gives free hugs to anyone who might need a  little extra kindness.

"I think that all young people and older people should just be supported and really you shouldn’t yuck anybody’s yum and everybody should be supported and what it is that they need to do for their lives there’s nothing that anybody here is doing that’s wrong and people need to know that," said Stuart, Downingtown. 

"I think it’s very hard to to come out and know exactly what you are some people just know from the get go with some people it takes a very long time and a lot of internal reflection to think about what you are but there’s there’s always time in and there’s that there’s always a good community to support you and have your back," said Katie Rowe, Red Bank.

As the 2024 Pride March concludes, organizers say they hope that it raises awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ community.