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‘Light, love, and liberation’: Photos from a triumphant Philly Pride

by Solmaira Valerio

Pride participants wave the largest Pride flag in Pennsylvania at the “Love, Light, and Liberation” march in Philadelphia on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)

Thousands of people chanted “Act up, fight back!” as they flowed through the streets of Philly in vibrant colors for Philadelphia’s 51st annual Pride celebration.

The theme of this year’s event was “Love, Light, and Liberation.”

The march and parade through the Gayborhood this time were solely organized by Galaei, after a year under the PHL Pride Collective, a community group that worked under Galaei to pick up the pieces after Philly Pride Presents disbanded.

It featured an impressive 200-ft.-long Pride flag, which broke the record as the biggest in Pennsylvania. The queen-size flag was in progress pride colors, including black, brown, and light pink, blue and white, to represent the trans community.

“We are not disposable to one another,” Samantha Rise, a musician who said they helped with organizing Philly Pride, told Billy Penn.. “The world wants us to think that we don’t matter, that we can be erased, that we can be invisible, are we ready to go quietly Philadelphia? No, in fact we are coming for what we are owed.”

The march kicked off at 10:30am at 6th and Walnut Streets with various speakers.

It led into a festival in the Gayborhood where participants could find food trucks, free STI testing, low sensory areas, and “Bailar con Amor” a space to honor Afro Latinx heritage through dancing.

“This city, the leadership in it, the love in it, the capacity to connect and collaborate and be creative,” said Rise, the musician. “The visionary imagination in this city is the one that’s going to change the world so that each and all of us can be all the way free.”

Scroll to check out some pics from the hope- and love-filled scene.

Maggie Anglero chants at “Bailar y Amor” a space to honor Afro Latinx heritage through dancing at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Samantha Rise, a musician and organizer for Philly Pride, gives a speech during the “Love, Light, and Liberation” march at Sixth and Walnut Streets on June 4, 2023. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)
Ingrid Marti (left) leads the drummers from Batala Philly, an international samba reggae music project based in Northeastern Brazil, to kick off Philly’s Pride march on June 4, 2023. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)
Participants prepare to lead the “Love, Light, and Liberation” march at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Drummers from Batala Philly, an international samba reggae music project based in Northeastern Brazil, prepare to lead Philly’s Pride march on June 4, 2023. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)
Maggie Anglero chants at “Bailar y Amor” a space to honor Afro Latinx heritage through dancing at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Participants dance at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Participants dance at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Pride participants wave the Pride flag at the Love, Light, and Liberation” march on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Tammy Walkingstick (left) and her cousin Abataloa Bagua (right) after speaking on the Lenape land acknowledgment at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Tammy Walkingstick gives a speech about the Lenape land acknowledgment at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Councilmember Kendra Brooks (center) gives a speech at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Erika Almirón, former candidate for City Council and executive of “Juntos”, gives a speech during the “Love, Light, and Liberation” march at Pride Philly on June 4th, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Artemis dances at at “Bailar y Amor” a space to honor Afro Latinx heritage through dancing at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Reverend Jordan, a pastor at Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church of Philaldephia, gives a speech during the “Love, Light, and Liberation” march at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)
Drummers from Batala Philly, an international samba reggae music project based in Northeastern Brazil, prepare to lead Philly’s Pride march on June 4, 2023. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)
Maggie Angleor (left) and Artemis (right) hug after dancing at “Bailar y Amor” a space to honor Afro Latinx heritage through dancing at Philly Pride on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)
Soleil wears Pride themed bracelets on June 4, 2023. (Solmaira Valerio for Billy Penn)

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