"I love them!" suburbanite says of marchers in Chicago's Pride Parade
Four friends from the city and suburbs who met while attending Illinois State University made the trek to participate in Sunday's Pride Parade in Chicago.
One big reason they attended the parade was to support friend Liv Richardson of Libertyville, who came out as bisexual in March.
"I am here to support my friends, no matter who they are," said Ashley Wilson of Schaumburg. "I love them!"
"I wanted to celebrate my sexuality comfortably with others who feel the same way," said Alex Yamane of Chicago.
And for Clay Satherlie of Glenview, it was about "celebrating who I am and my sexuality."
An estimated 1 million people viewed the 48th annual celebration -- a parade that wound its way for 21 blocks in the Lakeview and Uptown neighborhoods, according to ABC 7 Chicago.
The parade's grand marshal was Lea DeLaria, an Illinois native and star of the Netflix TV series "Orange Is the New Black."
"I've been to gay pride (events) all over the world, from Tel Aviv to San Paolo to Chicago," she told ABC 7, "and the Chicago Pride is so much fun."
The parade featured 150 brightly decorated floats and nearly 6,000 marchers, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
"It's more important than ever, this march, to reassert our common values," he told ABC 7, "but we continue to battle to make sure that the voices that are on the periphery are brought in to the American family, the Chicago family."