RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thousands of people converged on downtown Richmond to celebrate the LGBT community with PrideFest 2016.
One participant, Porcia Rodney, spoke with 8News.
“It’s my first time [at the festival], I’m excited to be out here today,” Rodney said.
Saturday’s PrideFest 2016 boasted over 15,000 people, many proudly donning rainbow attire, all to represent and show support for the LGBT Community.
8News spoke with James Milner, the president of Virginia Pride, the organization which hosts the event.
“I think it’s an opportunity for our community as a whole to look back and celebrate the progress that the LGBT community has made,” Milner said.
For many, PrideFest is a time to be free.
Sage Slaughter, a participant described what the event was about to her.
“It’s not necessarily about throwing it in anyone’s face,” Slaughter said. “It’s just a celebration where you can be yourself and be happy without anyone putting you down.”
Though the LGBT community has come a long way in the fight for equal rights, James Milner said they haven’t quite made it yet.
“We still are fighting for employment protections, because you can still be fired if you’re lesbian, gay, bi, or transgender,” Milner said. “It means you can be denied housing for those reasons, and that’s wrong and we still have a lot more work to do.”
Rodney described the importance of Saturday’s event to her.
“It’s important to get out there because the LGBT community needs its own voice and equality is very important to us,” Rodney said.