Hundreds of marchers and picnickers took part Sunday in the Transgender Resource Center of Long Island’s second annual Long Island Equality March and LGBTQIA Pride Picnic in Sayville.
“Hey, Hey. Ho, ho. Homophobia has got to go,” participants chanted as they walked south along Railroad Avenue across Main Street and into the Common Ground at Rotary Park in Sayville. “L-G-B-T! We demand equality!”
Mena Falco, the education director of the Transgender Resource Center, led the chants along the half-mile march route from the Sayville train station to the park.
“This day shows people that we just want to live our lives, have a fun, friendly day, and enjoy the community,” Falco said.
Rainbow Pride flags, provided by the Sayville Chamber of Commerce, lined the route.
“This whole population supports us, supports Sayville, and they’re free loving,” said Eileen Tyznar, president of the chamber and owner of TEACH Consulting Services, Inc. in Sayville. “They’re wonderful. They come to our town and they shop. This event is a way to say ‘thank you'”
Juli Grey-Owens, executive director and Board Chair of Gender Equality New York (GENY) and Gregory Noone, program manager at Thursday’s Child, served as the event’s grand marshals. Both delivered touching speeches that energized the crowd at the picnic.
“We’re creating a better world for those who follow us,” Grey-Owens said.
Musical performances kicked off with a crowd-pleasing set from a local rock brand, The Rose Monarch. Special performances by Ryan Cassata and Trans Trenderz followed.
Scroll down to for 20 photos of the day’s events. Click the 2, 3 and 4 boxes to view them all.