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NYC Pride March 2023 parades through Manhattan on Sunday

Manhattan streets packed for 2023 NYC Pride March
Manhattan streets packed for 2023 NYC Pride March 02:17

NEW YORK -- The New York City Pride March stepped off through the streets of Manhattan on Sunday, this year's festivities reflecting the national struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights.

Rainbow confetti rained down in Midtown, kicking off what is widely considered one of the largest Pride parades in the world.

"When you add everybody, it's about 2 million people coming to this city to celebrate Pride with us," NYC Pride co-chair Sue Doster said.

A sea of color marched down Fifth Avenue toward the Stonewall National Monument and past the New York City AIDS memorial. Artist and activist Billy Porter was at the helm as one of the grand marshals.

Excited spectators, like a couple who came down from Rhode Island for their anniversary, cheered from the sidelines.

"It's the biggest one, and it has the most support I think I've seen all in one place," one woman said.

Organizers say the theme this year is strength through solidarity -- a call to action amid what activists say has been a recent spate of attacks against the LGBTQ community, especially with legislation around the country.

"I think folks are trying to ban people out of existence. There's no way you can do that, and it's very harmful if you try to do that," NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.

Parade leaders say every year they solicit submissions for a theme. This year, the message reflected recent discussions about LGBTQ rights nationwide.

"I've always been in favor of gay rights. I'm gay, but it's getting really dangerous," said Justin Bennett-MacCubbin, who attended with his son.

Those marching say the mutual support makes all the planning worth it.

"The feeling, baby, is so beautiful. Have a good time for the gay pride," attendee Sasha Marie Montenegro said.

"I'm an extrovert, so I love a parade. I get filled with this stuff. This is why people move to New York. It's so special," said Ryan Yoch, with the Anti-Violence Project.

NYC Pride leaders say more than 75% of marching groups are nonprofits, many of which work daily to support the community they celebrated Sunday.

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