Capital Pride Week kicked off the last day in May and ended Sunday with a celebration in Washington Park. Our Beth Croughan was there for the parade and has more on what the event means to members of the LGBT community.
ALBANY, N.Y. --As the 2012 Capital Pride Parade kicked off loud cheers could be heard from both the crowd and parade participants. It was the culmination of more then a week of events organized by the Pride Center of the Capital Region.
It was a celebration for members of the LGBT, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and their allies.
"Having a good time," said Clifton Park resident, Kim Chamberlain, of the day. "Because I'm gay and I'm here to support everybody," she added, when asked why she came to the parade Sunday.
"We have to come out, we have to show our support. We can't just be out and you know off on our own," said Donald Clough of Glens Falls.
"It's not just about celebrating who you are, it's about celebrating who we are as a community and what we bring," explained Nora Yates, the Pride Center's Executive Director.
And the celebration falls in the same month that same-sex marriage was approved by the New York State Legislature and signed by the Governor one year ago.
Members of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany marched in support of the milestone. Minister Sam Trumbore said he's married at least six same-sex couples.
"I just did a wedding for a couple that's been together for 17 years. And they're as committed a couple as any of the couples I've ever married. It's just a wonderful celebration to be able to give them the legal rights that they deserve," said Rev. Trumbore.
But Yates, who married her wife in Canada in 2004, said the celebration also serves as a reminder for community members. "We have a lot more work to do to secure equal rights for transgender community members," she said.
Yates estimated more than 10,000 people attended Sunday's event and said it was the largest parade in the Pride Center's history.