Philadelphia Pride: Thousands LGBTQ+, allies fill Center City streets celebrating pride

Tens of thousands of people flooding the streets of Center City to celebrate Philly pride. And, this year, organizers say it’s the biggest crowd they’ve ever seen.

"Philly is really accepting already, but pride really brings people out," Aaron Garrett said.

The day-long celebration started at 6th and Walnut in Old City and ended where some people affectionately call the Gayborhood.

"The Gayborhood stands for everyone’s welcome. Peace. Prosperity. And everyone’s welcome," Montrell stated.

"Love, Light and Liberation" was the theme of the 2023 Philly Pride March and Festival, organized by Galeai. Leading the march, a 200 foot-long pride flag, the largest one in the city’s history.

"This year is my first pride. So, I kind of had a moment for a second that I got very emotional," Yaneris Reyes described.

Looking around at all of the sea of rainbows filling the streets of where some of the first major LGBTQ+ demonstrations in the country were held in the 60s.

"Pride means being part of a community and making ourselves visible, especially in a time when our visibility is being questioned by a lot of people," Danny Maloney said.

While Pride Month is a time to celebrate the winds for the LGBTQ+ community, like the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act or even locally the Pennsylvania House passing a bill preventing discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender identity. June is also a reminder that the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is far from over.

"I just think that it’s now more important than ever to make yourself aware of what’s going on in government and politics," Kim Lofton said. "And make sure you have an active voice, go out and boys go out and vote. Go out and protest and everything like that. Don’t just get stagnant because people will take your rights away from you."

"I feel like it needs to be something like federal, that is set. So, like all states have to follow specific rules to protect queer people," Zoe Miller said.

One of the meanings of the A in LGBTQIA+ is Ally, something the Vogel family takes seriously.

"Having my mom here means the world," Jake Vogel stated. "The fact that I was able to grow up in a place that welcomed me in the way that I am. I could cry thinking about it."

Christine Vogel added, "So many people get so upset about other people who are a little bit different than them. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect your daily life. They’re lovely, awesome human beings. Be a nice human."

"We’re not trying to push anything on anybody. We are just trying to be okay," Matthew Brown explained. "It’s not easy. But, having people and support systems is the only way that we get through it."

The fun is just beginning. There are more celebrations to come. Disability Pride Week kicks off Monday. A run is taking place June 10 and June 23rd the Phillies are hosting a Pride Night.