TAMPA, Fla. — People across the Tampa Bay area celebrated love and acceptance during the annual Tampa Pride Diversity Parade Saturday afternoon in Ybor City.
Thousands of people came out to celebrate love. One couple even got married after 19 years of dating.
Steven Weinlein and Tim Schmidt tied the knot right before the parade started.
Saturday was all about celebrating love and acceptance, but people couldn’t ignore the ongoing legislation involving transgender youth. Many said it saddens them, but they are strong as a community.
"I did speak to the senate. I spoke against the 'Don’t Say Gay' expansion bill and also, the anti-drag bill," Momma Ashley Rose, a person at the parade, said.
Rose and so many others in the LGBTQ+ community see the impact this legislation has on some.
"Depression and suicide rates are higher because of all of the hate on the queer community," Rose added.
That's why many people came out Saturday, including Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.
"This is a great example of why we need to be so inclusive," Castor said.
Everyone at the parade hopes the community can understand everyone deserves love.
"Join hands with us, let the world the know we are OK, there’s nothing wrong with us," Rose said.