One million people turned out for Chicago’s 48th annual Pride
An estimated one million people gathered in Chicago for the 48th annual Pride celebration.
City officials reportedly confirmed the huge outcome for the event which took place on June 25.
Lea DeLaria was the Grand Marshal for the parade which made its way through a number of neighbourhoods on the day.
Speaking at the event, the Orange is the New Black star said she was overjoyed that she could celebrate Pride in her home state.
“I’m very excited to be here because it’s my home state. It’s a real joy to be celebrating this kind of event in my home state.
“They actually have a gay Pride parade in the little town of dubbed that I grew up in.
“It’s really exciting to see us all come together and as a disenfranchised group of people to say ‘I matter, I’m a human being’.”
She added that she had been to Pride events across the world, but Chicago was especially important to her.
“I’ve been to Gay Pride all over the world from Tel Aviv to San Paolo to Chicago and the Chicago Pride is so much fun,” DeLaria said.
Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, told crowds how important he thought it was to make sure that everybody was “included in the city”.
“It’s more important than ever, this march to reassert our common values but we continue to battle to make sure that the voice that are on the periphery are brought into the American family, the Chicago family.
“This march is more than a gay and lesbian march it’s a march for our values and our ideals that we all hold together,” he said.
The march was temporarily halted when a group of protesters blocked the route to draw attention to trans and queer minorities who feel excluded from the Pride festival.
The protesters said that Pride was “infused” with “corporatization, whitewashing, gentrification, racism and cisnormativity”.
“The trans community of Chicago has risen up to explicitly denounce the Chicago Pride Parade and Festival, and to announce our intention to once again form our own spaces, to better serve and represent our own pride and liberation,” the protesters said in a statement.
The Chicago Dyke March, a collective that joined the larger Pride celebrations, also faced criticism as they asked three people with Jewish Star of David flags to leave.
It’s believed that a Dyke March member told the people the flags were banned because the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian”.
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Laurel Grauer was one of the people told that she could not carry the LGBT-themed Jewish flag.
She said that she was told the flag was an offensive trigger to some people.
She said: “It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag.”
“They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive.”
In a statement released by the organisers of Chicago Dyke March, they said that they made the decision to ask the people to leave because the people “repeatedly expressed support for Zionism”.