Burlington, VT- Thousands of people came to the Queen City on Sunday to march in the annual Pride Parade.
The parade kicked off at 12:30 p.m. on Church Street and ended at Waterfront Park, where a daylong festival featured vendors, music and art.
Ann Giombetti and Karen Mikkelsen, who have been together for 30 years, celebrated marriage equality in Vermont.
“We came here today to celebrate the fact that we get to be legally married in the state of Vermont, and right now in the United States of America,” said Mikkelsen. “We’re celebrating the fact that this is the way we’re living and this is the way we’re loving.”
The parade was the culmination of Pride Week in Burlington. This years theme was “Metamorphosis” to highlight the community’s fight for equal rights and to expand LGBTQ+ visibility.
“Pride is important, visibility is important because we have to tell our own story,” said Grand Marshal Alec Mapa. “We have to represent our own humanity because there are always people who are trying to take that humanity away from us.”
Mark Roberts, who marched in the parade, said he was motivated to participate by recent political developments.
“I’ve always just sort of remained on the sidelines, but these days with the developments politically, a lot of states are trying to outlaw being gay, and that bothers me,” said Roberts.
Brenda Siegel, the Democratic nominee for Governor, was one of the many political figures who marched in the parade.
“We, in this moment in time, need to stand up for the LGBTQ community and for trans rights more than we ever have because those are under attack,” she said.
Another parade participant, David Call of Burlington, shared his reason for marching.
“Stand tall and fearless, because the light will always outshine the dark,” said David.