On May 19, the LGBTQ community and their allies took to the streets to march in the Long Beach Pride Parade. Among those walking was our very own Gays With Kids contingent, organized by Moses Freyre. "We were honored to walk alongside this group of amazing parents as we celebrated 50 years of Pride," he shared.
The dads and moms marched alongside a parade float trailer (created to resemble the Gays With Kids logo!) whilst their kids rode aboard and enthusiastically waved rainbow flags.
"There is nothing like being surrounded by a community of love," said Jason Willoughby who attended with his husband Manuel and their two kids. "The Long Beach parade is always my favorite because of the small town feel with the big city turnout. To top it all off- being surrounded by other gay families and supporters? It truly was a day of PRIDE."
Joseph Chaviz and his husband Victor Arreola Jr have three kids and this was their second time joining the Gays With Kids group at the Long Beach parade. "We were both honored and humbled to stand side by side with other dads in pride, unity & brotherhood!"
Joseph recalled two events that really stuck out to him during the day of celebration: First, when older gay men of the LGBT community ran up to them, the gay dads marching, and shook their hands saying thank you for representing us. And the second was when a group of anti-LGBT spectators started verbally attacking their children riding the float. This moment could've ruined the day for the families, but they were blown away by the masses of parade spectators who drowned out their words of hate with cheering and phrases of love. "It was such an overwhelming experience, a moment in time that truly defined LOVE WINS!!"
"The parade was proof that there is nothing wrong with gay parenting," David Stephens, dad of two, shared with us. "We saw so many people with children along the parade root it felt amazing to truly know were aren't alone and we are a growing populace among the gay community."
After the parade was over, Moses organized for the families to meet nearby at a friend's local restaurant to continue the celebrations.
Thank you, Moses, for doing such a wonderful job of celebrating with local Gays With Kids parents.
"We are extremely thankful & blessed to have a community with Gays With Kids to remind us that we are not alone on an island!" added Joseph. "We indeed have an extended rainbow family here!" And we're just as thankful for our amazing community of gay dads!
Watch the video of the parade:
"We were honored to walk alongside this group of amazing parents as we celebrated 50 year of Pride," said Moses about the day.
Slideshow of photos: