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Nashville Pride Parade packs Lower Broadway as Roe reversal weighs on LGBTQ community

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 6/25/2022 Andy Humbles, Nashville Tennessean

"Be yourself they'll adjust," "We All Belong," and "Nashville For Everyone," were among many slogans on display Saturday at the Nashville Pride Parade.

The parade packed Lower Broadway with thousands of onlookers on top of an estimated 20,000 marchers and 125 entries with rainbow colors displayed all kinds of ways.

"It's important to see that we're just normal people, we're have a good time and living our lives authentically and we're happy," Jedediah Lee, 45, of Goodlettsville said getting ready to watch the parade. "We want to spread that around."

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Friday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade was an undercurrent for some at the parade even without a lot visible references.

"It's on our mind," said Jake Yoder, 22. "There was a lot of anger in our community yesterday. It's a weird atmosphere for everyone, but we're trying to have a good time."

"Same-sex marriages are recognized because of Roe vs. Wade," Samantha Pennington, 30, said. "So with that being overturned there is a chance that this community is going to be dis-recognized."

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The Nashville Pride Festival and Parade that celebrates the LGBTQ community is billed as the state's largest pride festival and among the largest in the South.


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The event wasn't held in 2020. It was scheduled for September in 2021, but rain canceled most of the festival.

A pride flag is paraded on Broadway in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, June 25, 2022. © Stephanie Amador / The Tennessean A pride flag is paraded on Broadway in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, June 25, 2022.

"This is an important step for all of us to take to show ...  regardless of gender, race or religion ... that everyone matters," Kamara Owens,30 said at the parade. 

Noticeable at the parade were a number of companies taking part as participants.

"I think the way the economy is right now, corporations are reaching out to every demographic," Shane Jones, 53, said. "It's a smart business decision."

"It's nice to have them here," Yoder said of company involvement, "but it needs to be authentic. I appreciate it, but the skepticism is there."

Two children help hold up the pride flag on Broadway during a Pride Festival parade in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, June 25, 2022. © Stephanie Amador / The Tennessean Two children help hold up the pride flag on Broadway during a Pride Festival parade in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, June 25, 2022.

The festival itself is anchored at Bicentennial Capitol Mall. Live music included Walk The Moon on Saturday and Tanya Tucker on Sunday.

Food trucks and venders, merchandise and a youth area were also part of the festival.

Reach Andy Humbles at ahumbles@tennessean.com or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville Pride Parade packs Lower Broadway as Roe reversal weighs on LGBTQ community

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