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Thousands Attend CNY Pride Week Celebration and Parade

John Smith/WAER News

This year’s CNY Pride Week came to an end over the weekend with thousands of people attending the parade and celebrating with food, music and dancing at Syracuse’s Inner Harbor.  Rome resident Leo Byrom says joining the parade to support is like being with the family.  He says there are still people who feel alone and continue to hide themselves in the closet.

“If you live in fear, you’re gonna isolate yourself, you’re not gonna you’re your life. You cannot live in fear because (of) one person we cannot hate; we cannot spread more hate, did a horrible thing, a horrible tragedy. We have to come together as a family because this is our support.  I went to the vigil in Utica and it was set up. And within 15 hours on one post on Facebook, it had to have 100 people. It was beautiful, this is my big gay family.”

Despite the tragedy in Orlando, Paris Jones from North Syracuse says he is not afraid of what he’s been doing to support the LGBTQ Community. Although, he doesn’t know those victims personally, he considers them a part of his family.

Credit Jason Chen/WAER News

“I’m a part of the LGBT Community and if you can’t, as I was talking to a friend earlier, if you can’t support what you believe in; who else is going to support it for you? You have to believe in it for yourself to believe in it for someone else. You never know, someone else may need help and they don’t know who to go to. They can come to us. We’re out and we’re about. There’s people all around who have different emotions and feelings and they need help with it and they don’t know how to ask for it.”

A parade-goer Talia Shenandoah from West Side says she lived in Florida for several years and Orlando is like her second home. She can’t understand how anyone could be so hateful and hurtful to kill so many innocent people.

“In the back of my mind, it bothered me. It hurt me a lot, but this is the kind of thing that people come together and then there’s strength in numbers, the unity comes out and there is a little bit of fear that something could happen. But, there’s definitely the strength in numbers and we’re all here because we love ourselves, we love each other, and that unity is kind of like what motivates the pride and that’s why we’re here.”

Credit Jason Chen/WAER News

The theme of this year's parade was “Who's your hero?”

Credit Jason Chen/WAER News


John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.