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Gay pride celebration marks year of achievement

Chanel Stallings, center, joins others to carry a large rainbow flag while representing US Bank during the Sacramento Pride parade in downtown Sacramento on Saturday.
Chanel Stallings, center, joins others to carry a large rainbow flag while representing US Bank during the Sacramento Pride parade in downtown Sacramento on Saturday. lsterling@sacbee.com

Thousands of area residents converged downtown Saturday morning for Sacramento’s pride parade and festival.

The parade featured a variety of participants – including folks in elaborate costumes, rainbow tutus and next to nothing.

Protesters, including a woman who handed out religious pamphlets, were small in number. The loudest of the protesters, who gathered at the start of the parade route at Third and N streets, were shouted down by parade attendees.

The festival, on Capitol Mall, featured recording artist Belinda Carlisle. The event wrapped up at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Bee asked participants to size up the year’s accomplishments for those seeking expanded rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Here’s what they said:

▪ “We’re continuously moving forward, just making the world an equal place for all people.” – Regina King of Sacramento

▪ “It’s amazing to see the pace of change in the country and around the world.” – Steve Hansen, Sacramento city councilman

▪ “What we have to keep our mind on is that most trans people are not like Caitlyn Jenner. Most trans people live in abject poverty, struggle from day to day to get the health care that they need; those are really the voices we need to center on in this struggle.” – Ben Hudson, parade grand marshal

▪ “It’s been an amazing year for gay rights and gender equality. The year was chock-full of a lot of small advances.” – Zsa Zsa Glamour of the San Francisco-based Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

▪ “It’s so heartening to see what has happened over in Ireland. It’s just so great to see it celebrated here at Sacramento pride. It really feels like very soon we’ll have so many of us around the world able to marry.” – Tom Gilligan of San Francisco

Sacramento Pride goers talk about the year that was for gay rights. Video by Ed Fletcher.

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