Marching in yesterday's gay-pride parade with Philadelphia Family Pride was important to Wendy Forbes, who said it allowed families like hers to stand up and be counted.
"It gives our children empowerment and recognition," said Forbes, 40, a single lesbian parent and the owner and operator of an adoption agency for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families called Rainbow Blocks.
"We raise our children just like everyone else, and we should have the same rights as well," she added, as her 5-year-old son Dylan sat on her lap with his red balloon guitar.
Forbes and her son were among thousands of enthusiastic LGBT participants and their allies at the 22nd annual Philadelphia Pride Day who didn't let several minutes of rain dampen the festivities.
"Even with the weather, I think everyone will get out and show a little pride," said William Bailey, 22, who marched in the parade with the Attic Youth Center.
Northeast Philadelphia resident Kimberlyn Kassovsky said the rain felt refreshing during her first Pride Day experience.
"Today has been great," she said. "It's about everyone being together and not having a problem with each other, and it's good for the [LGBT] community to show who they are."
Young people in particular crowded the parade route and festival at Penn's Landing. Carrie Jacobs, executive director of the Attic, which provides services for LGBT youth, said Pride Day was important to young people, especially those who've felt isolated because of their identity.
"It gives them a sense a community," she said. "The parade makes them feel like they are part of something."
Meghan O'Donnell, 16, of Northeast Philadelphia, said the day was a good opportunity to recognize the hurdles the community has overcome.
"I think pride is so important because there's still so much anti-gay [sentiment] around," she said.
Anti-gay sentiment at this year's Pride Day came in the form of protesters from Repent America, founded by Michael Marcavage, who believes LGBT people can be "set free of the bondage of sin, just like any other sin." Repent America has protested at Pride events for at least a decade, Marcavage said.
Alex Chapman, 30, a stylist at Philly Dog Spot in Chestnut Hill, did not let protesters discourage him. After the parade, Chapman enjoyed an ice-cream float with his seven poodles, six of which were dyed the colors of the rainbow pride flag.