NEW YORK CITY — The mighty roar of motorbikes signaled the start of the 48th NYC LGBT Pride march along Fifth Avenue on Sunday.
Leading the pack of bikers is Filipino-American Jen Baquial, President of Sirens Motorcycle Club NYC.
“We’re still not equal in the fifty states, so we continue to march ever year until we are fully equal,” said Baquial.
With a record breaking 40,000 marchers, spectators along the 2.1-mile march route surpassed last years 2 million mark.
Among them were Miss Saigon’s Fil-Am cast members — Devin Ilaw, and first time Pride attendee Eva Noblezada.
Defiant pride marchers say they want to make America gay again.
President Trump broke the annual Obama tradition of declaring June as Pride month, despite vowing to support the LGBTQ community during his campaign.
“I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppressions of a hateful, foreign ideology, believe me,” he said.
But the Fil-Am Democratic Club president Aries Dela Cruz says Trump broke that campaign promise, by revoking the Obama administration’s federal guidance to allow transgender students choose the bathroom that coincide with their gender identity.
“Republicans across America are trying every opportunity to take away the rights of people like me and my partner, to be able to adopt children and to have our own family,” said Dela Cruz. “Here in New York, what the Democrats are fighting for the passage of an agenda which will allow to be added in our states’ constitution an anti-discrimination measure for people’s gender of sexual orientation or gender identity…”
Fil-Am political performance artist Marni Halasa says they are protesting against Trumpcare, because healthcare is an LGBT issue too.
“Given the fact that they wanna cut $800 billion in Medicare is gonna affect everybody; also the LGBT community and people with AIDS and HIV,” said Halasa. “This healthcare bill cannot pass.”
Organizers say the pride march will continue to be a march as hate and injustice against members of the LGBTQ prevails, and until full equality is achieved in all 50 states.