On Sunday, the nation’s fourth-largest gay pride parade was held in California at the 31st annual Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade.
The event, held on Shoreline Drive, drew thousands from across the state and included 127 different entrants in the parade. Some of those groups include the West Coast Animal Rescue, politicians, Badfish Roller Derby Long Beach and the LGBTQ Center Long Beach.
The parade only comes second in attendance to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with roughly 80,000 people lining the streets and the Grand Prix having around 180,000. It’s also the second-largest gay pride event in Southern California behind the one held in West Hollywood.
Organizers say the parade was the “ultimate occasion” to celebrate relationships with family, friends, significant others and the community.
There’s not too many statistics available, however Long Beach is believed to have one of the highest concentrations of gay people in the nation. It has a gay vice-mayor, Robert Garcia, and a lesbian councilmember, Gerrie Schipske, and has undoubtedly become a very “gay friendly” city. According to the South Florida Gay News, it ranks third out of every American city for the growth of its LGBT population with the majority of its gay members living in neighborhoods like Belmont Heights, Plaza, Signal Hill, and the Eastside.
While it’s great that people are proud of who they are and the choices they make, this about this for a second; If a “straight pride” parade were to be held the people who participated would be considered bullies and there would be outrage nationwide. Before the ink on the flyers was able to dry, the media would explode with accusations such as “homophobes” and “bigots,” however an event like this is praised as are the people participating. It just doesn’t make sense that the same activities can be carried out by two different groups of people with two separate sets of beliefs, yet only one group would be demonized for it. Just as LGBT supporters would be offended if such a “straight pride” event were to take place, there are many who are offended that an event like this happened, what about their voices?
Equal rights mean just that, equal for all. However in today’s America it seems as if some are more equal than others based on their ideology, and there’s something seriously wrong with that.