Little Apple Pride celebrates LGBT community

People cheer as they march through Manhattan during the 7th-annual Little Apple Pride parade on Saturday, April 16, 2016. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Little Apple Pride was held in downtown Manhattan on Saturday afternoon. The event, which was held to celebrate and educate about LGBTQ pride, began at 2 p.m. with a parade that started at First Congregational Church on the corner of Poyntz Avenue and Juliette Avenue and ended at City Park with a festival at 3 p.m.

This year, more than 150 people of all ages attended the march for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and the afternoon of entertainment. The event featured music and different showcases, including booths and live performances by drag queens showcasing their talents and accepting donations.

Molly Brace, Little Apple Pride committee chair and sophomore in psychology and social work, said she has been helping with the event for six years.

“This year’s turnout is a huge surprise to me and my fellow committee members,” Brace said. “It is so big and so exciting.”

Tanner Jaeckel, senior in animal sciences and industry, is the secretary of LGBT and Allies, which oversaw the Little Apple Pride event.

“I’m an ally to anyone in our community,” Jaeckel said. “Ally doesn’t necessarily specify meaning someone who identifies as heterosexual or straight — we are allies to everybody and anybody within our community.”

Nancy Kezer, Manhattan resident, said she attended the event to support her daughter and friends and is a huge supporter of the gay community. Kezer said she has a 14-year-old daughter who identifies more as a male than a female but does not identify as transgender. Instead, she identifies as trans-fluid.

“I see a lot more people being an ally in the sense of an aunt, uncle or cousin, or a dad one day decides to become mom,” Kezer said. “It can happen whenever.”