A colorful family of gay rights supporters celebrated love, openness and equality on Saturday, June 15, along Syracuse’s Inner Harbor . The CNY Pride Parade and Festival attracted church groups, businesses, community organizations and hundreds of families and individuals.
Tully resident Dori Colvin, 50, marched in the parade with her partner, Robin Latham, 47. The couple has been together for nine months. They hope pride events will eventually end discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community.
“Knowledge is power – awareness is even better. And if we come out, and show people that we’re just like anybody else…" said Colvin. "There’s prayer professionals, down to grassroots people who are just farmers… who just want to be with the person who their heart says they need to be with.”
Churches like All Saints Parish in Syracuse were also represented at the pride event. Meg Ksander, who serves on staff there, marched with her fellow congregation members to display what she describes as their moral responsibility to all people.
“God created all human beings in God’s image and likeness. So, we need, sort of by definition as Catholic Christians, to stand with all our sisters and brothers," Ksander said.
All Saints Parish started in 2008, and has accepted those from the LGBTQ community since its inception. One such member, Mark Cerosaletti, 55, accompanied Ksander at the day's events. He and his husband, Mark Morris, 57, were legally married on their 25th anniversary, two-and-a-half years ago.
"All are welcome at the table of the Lord," Cerosaletti said.
Youth, such as, Adeline Livingston, 12, and Anna Livingston, 14, already consider themselves LGBTQ activists. Their father, Mallory Livingston, 52, is a transgender woman. Adeline has attended five gay pride rallies, while Anna has attended two. They brought their best friends, Olivia Root, 12, and Alice Shinaman, 12, with them to the CNY Pride Festival. Olivia has also attended two rallies, and Saturday's pride event is Alice's first. They look forward to more in the future.
"I love it. It feels so homey, and people respect everybody. Nobody judges for who anybody else is," Alice said.
Since this year's celebration highlighted marriage equality, Jason Galvez, 38, and his husband Eric Galvez, 34, had the chance to serve as Grand Marshals for the CNY Pride Parade. As a CNY native, Jason excitedly accepted the chance to lead his first pride march in Syracuse.
The CNY Pride Parade and Festival wrapped up a week-long celebration, which included a flag-raising at Syracuse City Hall and an interfaith service.