Rochester celebrates first Gay Pride event
ROCHESTER - Downtown was buzzing with people as the city held their first gay pride event.
A sea of rainbows decorated Rochester's Central Square as people dressed in colorful outfits danced to live music. Others waived their flags showing support for the lesbian-gay-bi-transgender (LGBT) community. The mayor read a proclamation declaring May 10 Gay-Pride day for the City, an event that came together in the wake of the Orlando attack.
"When you have big events like these where everybody, you know, that everybody's accepted. I think that it makes for a really friendly-open community" said Jae Fletcher of Durham.
To show the LGBT community their support, the Rochester police placed colorful new lettering on their vest.
"Our police department and our city believes in equality and unity. Things like that so we thought it was very important to dress for the occasion" said Captain Jason Thomas of the Patrol Division of the Rochester Police Department.
The event did have some controversy surrounding it. Originally the 15 pride flags hanging in the square were going to stay flying for the next 30 days but some people were upset these flags would still be up during the anniversary of September 11.
"Having those flags in and around our red-white-and-blue flags is a wonderful testament to all of us" said Mayor Caroline McCarley. Later saying "We will have replaced our rainbow flags with the red-white-and-blue flags again but it's because we all love this country and it's the right thing to do" said McCarley.
Despite this set back, people still felt the love.
"It feels good that community knows that there are a bunch of people that need the support...to show us the love that we need, it feels like family. " said Stiles Zuschlat of Lebanon Maine.
Organizers say they plan to make next years festival even bigger.