By Suzanne Monaghan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s not the longest-running Pride Parade in the country, but Philadelphia’s Pride Parade has been promoting equality in the L-G-B-T community for 25 years.
Sunday marked the event’s silver anniversary and Jay from Cherry Hill, New Jersey says gay rights have seen a dramatic evolution since the first Philly Pride Parade.
“Twenty years ago, this was more of a testament to the AIDS crisis,” he said. “You know, our brothers and sisters were dying and from that solidarity we were able to cultivate a sense of community a sense of pride a sense of power and now, basically 20 years later, we are on the cusp of marriage equality.”
While parade participants performed, marched or rode down Market Street on colorful floats, Jerry who has been coming to the parade since 1990 shared his vision for the parade 25 years from now.
“Almost no celebration. You know, that it’s just normal,” he said. “That you don’t need a celebration anymore. That it’s just normal. Everybody can be whatever they want.”
Those who’ve been coming to the parade since the beginning say both the crowds and the acceptance have grown and most shared a similar hope for the future.
“We actually are residents of Rhode Island and marriage equality was just passed there, allowing us to take the opportunity to get married in the near future,” said one man. “That’s what needs to happen in these areas as well.”