Thousands attend Vermont’s annual pride parade

  • Gov. Phil Scott marches in the Pride Vermont parade on Church Street in Burlington on Saturday, September 8, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger GLENN RUSSELL

  • Participants in the Pride Vermont parade march up Church Street in Burlington on Saturday, September 8, 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger VtDigger photographs — GLENN RUSSELL

Published: 9/8/2019 10:18:42 PM
Modified: 9/8/2019 10:18:40 PM

BURLINGTON — Thousands of Vermonters gathered Sunday in Burlington, many wearing and waving rainbow flags, to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

LGBTQ Vermonters and allies marched and danced down Church Street early Sunday afternoon, as part of a march, organized by the Pride Center of Vermont, that concluded with a gathering in Battery Park.

This year’s parade was the 36th pride march in Burlington, which was first held in 1983.

Mike Bensel, the executive director of the Pride Center, said it was important for the community to gather.

“I think right now is a time where there are people who want to erase LGBT folks, take away our rights,” Bensel said. “Especially trans members of our community are under fire with some of the bathroom bills that are out there.”

Bensel said the event is getting larger each year.

“It’s important for us all to come together to show solidarity, to show our strength and to show that we matter,” he said. “The sheer numbers of this group shows there’s not a lot that can stop us. We’re just going to keep growing and getting stronger every year.”

Some marchers held signs, including “Trans Rights are Human Rights,” “Have Pride, March On” and “Every Kid Deserves a Supportive Family.”

This year’s parade was the second that Adrian Handy, a UVM student, attended.

“I’m gay and I really enjoy being with people who have similar experiences as me,” Handy said. “It’s a fun time to be around people who are authentically themselves.”

Over 90 organizations took part in the event, including LGBTQ organizations such as Outright Vermont and the Pride Center. Gov. Phil Scott marched, as did representatives of the Vermont Democratic Party, the University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College and many other groups.

Tiffani Powell, of Winooski, said she is pansexual and appreciated the supportive environment at the parade.

“There are a lot of days people can’t be themselves, and pride is the day you can be yourself without judgement,” she said.

Ricky Martin, of Burlington, said he noticed the parade has been growing every year. He said having the event in September, instead of during Pride Month in June, makes it a uniquely Burlington celebration.

“A few years ago, it was a couple of people banging a drum, and now it’s the whole town,” he said.

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy