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Students celebrate at Pride

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John Doan
Pride flags fly as the parade begins in St. Pete. Floats also rode by with banners and posters to show their pride.

In celebration of Pride Month, St. Petersburg hosted it’s 16th Pride Parade on June 23. It was one of many celebrations that took place in June to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and the challenges that the community has gone through. They have faced negativity, discrimination, and hate. But despite this, they still celebrate their diversity. As a result, the community celebrates the adversities they have overcome at the Pride festival. An estimated 200,000 attended this year’s parade. 

Senior Niliam Perez made the drive from Tampa to St. Pete to attend the parade. “I wanted to go out there and know that I’m not alone,” Perez said. “It’s important that we celebrate Pride because we live in a generation where we’re constantly judged and constantly talked down on and that’s not okay.” 

The Pride festival has been celebrated for years and each year it continues to grow in influence. It started off small as just a celebration in St. Pete, asking all citizens to take pride in the diversity of the community, but over the years it has transformed from a homegrown event to an event that has attracted people from different cities. The Pride festival has continued to grow and spread recognition for LGBTQ+ human rights. Today, it is one of the most widely celebrated pride festivals, and in 2017 the first to honor Transgender rights. 

Junior Sheila Kratzer attended the last year’s festival as well as this one. She was in last year’s parade; however, she was not able to be a part of this year’s pride festival. “It feels good like I’m actually making a difference and making people feel accepted,” Kratzer said. “In the future, I hope to see that members of the community don’t just feel accepted during pride month or at parades, I hope that they can feel supported and comfortable all the time.” 

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