Thousands turned out in the U.S. State of Colorado for a PrideFest and the Gay Pride parade. This annual celebration by the LGBT community took on special meaning after the shootings at a gay nightclub in Florida last weekend.
CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.
Colorado PrideFest takes on extra significance after Orlando massacreThousands turnedout in the U.S. State of Colorado for a PrideFest and the Gay Pride parade. This annual celebration by the LGBT community took on special meaning after the shootings at a gay nightclub in Florida last weekend. CCTV America's Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Denver.
Under a blazing hot sun, marchers of all colors and wearing all colors hit the pavement in Denver to express gay pride and solidarity with the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community.
“We are coming together as a community in ways that we haven’t in a very long time. We are here, we are not going anywhere. We deserve to be safe, we deserve to be heard,” said marcher Kyle Jensen.
The parade is one of a number of gay pride parades in the U.S. taking place today and in the coming weeks.
The Denver event is usually pretty well attended, but this year is different after the recent massacre of 49 people inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida in the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S.
Accompanied by a slightly greater police presence than in years past, marchers included grocery store employees who pushed shopping carts decorated with pictures of each of the victims.
“We just want to show our support because it’s horrible what’s happening. We want people to love each other and, you know, erase hate,” Carol Mulligan said.
Rex Fuller of Denver’s GLBT Community Center said the shootings were a reminder that, one year after gay marriage was legalized in the U.S., gays remain second-class citizens in the eyes of some Americans.
“I think there’s a lot of mixed emotions honestly,” Fuller said. “While this example of anti-gay violence in Florida is especially horrific, people in the LGBT community unfortunately live with violence all the time.”
But he sees new determination to push back against discrimination and push for greater equality in the wake of the Orlando attack.
“After the events in Orlando, I felt paralyzing fear. I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to come to this festival. And then I decided you can make me afraid but you can’t make me hide,” Jensen said.
They’ve come too far, many of these folks say, to be scared back into the closet.
“Having two lesbian parents is truly an inspiration that you can truly love whoever you want. Doesn’t matter race, gender, anything like that,” said Eugene Alcorta.
Istanbul security heightens after transgender rally halted
Security was tight at Istanbul’s main Taksim Square as hundreds of police officers with water cannons stood by to prevent a rally planned by Turkey’s LGBT community.
CCTV’s Michal Bardavid reports from Istanbul.
Istanbul security heightens after transgender rally haltedSecurity was tight at Istanbul's main Taksim Square as hundreds of police officers with water cannons stood by to prevent a rally planned by Turkey's LGBT community. CCTV's Michal Bardavid reports from Istanbul.
All demonstrations have been banned in the square since 2013. Last week, an ultra-nationalist group, the Alperen Hearths declared they would prevent the rally using all means necessary.
The announcement was perceived as a threat by many, especially during Ramadan, prompting the Istanbul governor to cancel the rally due to security concerns.
“I personally thank the Istanbul Governor for not allowing this immoral rally to take place. Thus, we have put our action decision on hold,” Alperen Hearths Regional President Kursat Mican said.
The move was not enough to stop the demonstration from happening altogether. Many brave LGBT members showed up despite the threats.
With their rainbow flags, they proudly marched — but not for long. Police immediately intervened with tear gas and rubber bullets.
A group of people who wanted to protest the event were also detained by police. Shortly after, the crowd dispersed
Members of the LGBT community in Turkey stress that all they want is to have equal rights as human beings especially as part of the labor force.
“I was an English teacher before and I was kicked out of my job because of my sexual orientation,” said marcher Nedim Uzun. “That’s why I want gay rights for normal jobs, for example a gay can work as a teacher, as a policeman, so we want gay rights for normal jobs, not for prostitution.”
Now all eyes are turned to June 26th, when a major LGBT rally is scheduled in Turkey.