In Washington, Los Angeles, and dozens of cities in between, thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday to celebrate and defend the rights of LGBTQ communities.
At marches and rallies across the country, participants walked with joy and pride, carrying giant rainbow flags and poignant posters exclaiming phrases like “Love Has No Gender” and “Protect Trans Kids.”
Other marchers went for humor, invoking pop culture references both timeless and two weeks old.
But signs and chants also highlighted the broader anger and anxiety that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people have felt under the Trump administration, which is threatening to undo some of the community’s hard-fought advances.
“We’re here! We’re queer! Get that Cheeto out of here!” was among the chants directed at Trump as marchers paraded past the White House and toward the Capitol in Washington, the Associated Press reported.
The events also took on an emotional, reflective tone as participants remembered the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Forty-nine people were killed on June 12, 2016, after a gunman opened fire into the Orlando gay bar, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The Equality March in Washington, the weekend’s centerpiece event, was timed to arrive a day before the tragic anniversary.
The L.A. Pride March this year renamed itself #ResistMarch in solidarity with Equality Marches nationwide.
“We simply felt that in 2017 we need to return to our roots and protest so that those who would roll back our hard-won human rights are put on notice that we will not stand idly by,” L.A. Pride organizers said on the event’s website.
Leaders of the Equality March stressed the need for unity and inclusion to help end the “hostile rhetoric, discriminatory policies, and violence perpetrated against the most vulnerable in our communities,” including those targeted due to immigration status, skin color, religion, or disability.
“We affirm and celebrate that we are a mix of diverse communities,” the organizers said.
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