Pride parade draws bigger crowds downtown this year


More than 200 people marched down Market Street wearing rainbow clothing or flags, holding signs and doing whatever they could to support the gay and lesbian community as part of the Youngstown Pride Festival.

Saturday’s procession, which opened the second day of the festival, included more than double the number of people in the parade two years ago, said parade organizer John Vivo. It featured about 20 units and a number of people who simply walked with the group.

“There are people who are coming now that were afraid to come out in the past,” he said.

There is a perception of gay men as just being effeminate and liking to dress up as women, Vito said. This event is a chance to show various sides of the lesbian, gay and transgender community, he added.

A number of issues still face the gay and lesbian community, he said, adding that people need to understand “we’re born this way.”

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