Live entertainment, influential guest speakers, and the waving of rainbow flags dominated the streets of Ybor City during the second annual Tampa Gay Pride parade and festival.
With the legalization of same-sex marriage passed in all 50 states since June of 2015, supporters and newcomers in the LGBT community are thrilled with the return of Tampa Pride, and vow for continued efforts to end discrimination in Florida.
“I think it’s a big influential part of the LGBT community,” said Achilles, an LGBT supporter. “You know it’s phenomenal. So, why not share it with the world?”
The event not only attracted new festivalgoers, vendors were also drawn in by the large crowd.
“It’s my first time, and I’m kind of loving it,” said Kara Wroblewski, owner of Happy Place Tie Dye.
While her company earns a profit from hand dyeing plain white t-shirts into any color the customer wants, Wroblewski said she also favors meeting new people at the festival.
“The people are sweet, I love it,” Wroblewski said. “Any time you can get a group of like-minded people together, it’s the way to go.”
The Pride celebration not only aims to usher in newcomers and supporters, forming a family with the LGBT community is another goal.
“They may have not have had the best past, they may have been thrown out or kicked out or lived on the street,” said Lindsey, a festivalgoer. “So they find a place to fit in, and be a part of a family because they want to be loved.”