Love wins at Rochester Pride Parade

Jul 15, 2017

Credit Emma Retzlaff

Rainbow flags, wigs and capes decorated the sidewalks of Park Avenue Saturday afternoon as the Rochester pride parade marched through.

Rochester pride is one of the largest pride events in the state outside of New York City, and draws big crowds to celebrate love, acceptance and LGBTQ individuals.

The only disturbance that seemed to pop up was at the corner of Oxford and Park, where a small group of anti-gay protestors were gathered. Samantha Lawrence decided this would be the perfect place to propose to her girlfriend Megan Miller.

Miller said she wasn’t expecting the proposal, but Lawrence said she knew it would happen at pride, even if Miller doesn’t like grand gestures.

“I wanted something big and special. And I figured with my LGBT community, it was just the right thing to do.”

Many allies gathered to watch the parade as well. Megan Carr said she went as a message of support.

"Just to support everyone I know and love because I think that love is love and everyone deserves love."

Credit Emma Retzlaff

A few blocks down from Carr were Phil Darrow and Richard Nielsen. The couple has been together for 24 years and married for just over one. Darrow said they’ve been coming to the parade for years both to march and to watch.

"I like the fact that people are comfortable with who they are and their identity.”

Nielsen agreed.

"It’s a fun festive day where everyone can enjoy themselves and be themselves."

The parade comes after a week of events celebrating the LGBTQ communities as well as honest and authentic living and loving.

Pride weekend continues with plenty of music, performances and drag shows at ROC PrideFest in Cobbs Hill Park on Saturday from 1pm-9pm and Sunday from 12pm-6pm.

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News