Parade paints pride in Vermont

Kelsey Neubauer, Staff Writer

Rainbow pride spread throughout Burlington streets on Sunday.

Hundreds marched and celebrated the LGBTQAI+ community in Burlington’s annual Pride Parade.

The event, hosted by the Burlington Pride Center, is one of many throughout the country honoring the history of this group of people.

UVM community members march down Church Street in the annual Vermont Pride Parade, held Sept. 11. Sabrina Hood / The Vermont Cynic

In 1969, police raided a well-known gay bar in the West Village of New York City.

From the raid erupted the Stonewall riot, and with it came the start of the modern gay rights movement, according to PBS.

Later that year, the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile organizations came together to “[work] to improve the status of homosexuals in our society,” according to their mission statement. Among the many things discussed at the conference was a yearly pride parade.

In 1970, the first pride parade was held in New York City commemorating the riot that had opened a new chapter for what was then known as gay rights, according to the Pride Center of Burlington’s website.

Today, the celebration has expanded to include people that identify not only as gay but as lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, gender queer, asexual and demisexual among other sexual and gender identities, illustrated in the acronym LGTBQAI+.

The pride parade is where folks on campus can feel safe to express identities, sophomore Greer Sargaent said.

“Pride is all about celebrating love and diversity,” Sargaent said.

She said this is a space where those in the LGBTQAI+ community cannot be silenced.

“I think pride sends a message that our identities make us beautiful and that they should be celebrated,” she said.

Cities all over America hold pride parades in summer months. This is the second time this year that Burlington has been decked out in rainbows.

In June, then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined the ranks of Burlingtonians who walked from the unitarian church at the top of Church Street to City Hall Park to honor the lives lost and wounded in Orlando.