By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philly’s Pride March and Festival is back this weekend after a two-year hiatus. and it’s extra special this year. The Pride march begins on Independence Mall at 11 a.m. Sunday. It’ll be followed by a festival in The Gayborhood.

Organizers say this is more than just a party, it’s a fight to keep moving forward.

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“It’s almost like a countermeasure to the things we were taught about ourselves growing up,” resident Egg Miles said.

Taking ownership of who you are and living it every day. On Friday afternoon Philadelphia raised the pride flag to officially welcome back Philly pride.

“A lot of us didn’t get to feel proud of who we are because we were constantly taught throughout our lives that what we are is not something to be proud of,” Miles said.

The pandemic forced the cancellation of the celebration in 2020 and 2021. But also last year, Philly Pride Presents, which organized pride and Outfest for 28 years, abruptly disbanded and shut down. Now, Philly Pride Collective is picking it back up with a new focus.

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“It’s been a journey and we still have a lot of growing to do, but I’m happy we have an event, that we have a group of people committed to reimagining Pride in Philadelphia,” Abdul-Aliy Muhammad with the PHL Pride Collective said.

In addition to Sunday’s march and festival, events will be happening throughout the month of June. They include celebrations for Juneteenth and Disability Pride. There will also be a distinct focus on the city’s Black, brown and transgender communities

“It’s our determination to rise above discrimination and injustice year after year that sustains us in this fight for the long haul,” Erik Larson, with the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs said.

“I hope we get a lot of queer people out, a lot of Black people out, a lot of trans people out. I hope people feel comfortable enough to come to, it’s been 2 years,” resident Garrett Olthius said.

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Because of the march and festival, there are street closures throughout the day. For more on road closures, parking restrictions and the march route, click here.