by Jon Cana, ABS-CBN News
SAN FRANCISCO — The city saw no shortage of rainbow flags and messages of love, as more than a million people gathered for this year’s LGBT pride celebration.
Its annual parade with a record breaking 250 contingents saw organizations, politicians, companies and even celebrities marching for LGBT rights.
“I am so touched by the support I see in SF. Gay pride parade happened yesterday in Manila, but of course the numbers were much lower, but I’m just happy that it’s gaining support,” said Cecille Lavarez.
The parade led up to San Francisco’s civic center, where diversity and dancing met for one giant party.
The crowds just don’t stop flowing in at 2017 San Francisco Pride — while most are celebrating, some are voicing out a message of resistance.
Unlike the LA counterpart, San Francisco Pride remained a celebration, and was not converted into a resist march.
Instead, the parade was led by a resistance contingent sending a strong message to President Trump’s administration.
Some Fil-Ams say that given the nation’s current political climate, the choice was a missed opportunity.
“I think SF can always do more because we already have that brand, that space of being a safe space that we should be the leaders of that movement of resistance,” said Kristy Drutman.
Despite all this, the party carried on for SF pride’s attendees, with some others trying to strike a balance between protest and celebration.
“It’s still a celebration… if people see and get influenced by love is love, equality, we’re all the same, then it follows with our political leanings and the things we do everyday,” said Jeng Maceda Villanueva.
While the message to the current administration from Pride’s attendees is mixed, its message for the LGBT community remains clear:
“Whether its a family member, friend, yourself. Just accept it, and be one and love each other.”
“Wag kayong matakot. Maraming nagmamahal — look at all these people — maraming nagmamahal,” said Lavarez.
“Be yourself. Love yourself. Do what you love and enjoy your life.”