Story by Hunter King /Staff Writer

Long Beach showed its true colors during the annual Gay Pride festival and parade the weekend of May 16 and 17. The festival was held at Marina Green Park, while the parade Sunday morning proceeded along Ocean Boulevard toward downtown Long Beach.

An LBCC float represented the student LGBT community and its supporters.

Students arrived to the PCC at 7 a.m. Sunday to transform a large flat-bed truck into something more fitting for Gay Pride. ASB adviser Derek Oriee coordinated the event, but the students took the initiative in decorating. The group departed from the PCC to meet with the other floats on Ocean Boulevard just before the parade began at 11 a.m.

Area 3 Trustee Sunny Zia mounted the float to smile and wave with the students. Linda Moreno, philosophy major, walked ahead of the float rapping and rallying the crowds lining the street. “L-B-C-C, L-B-C-C,” Moreno and the people chanted in unison.

A group of evangelical Christians protested the parade with discriminatory signs and a loudspeaker, but the air of festivity and joy was hardly affected. The parade viewers and participants took little notice of the protesters.

Child development major Faith Firmalino, 25, said, “All the colors include everything, the rainbow is unity.” Like the LGBT flag, the crowd was a diverse group of people; some identified as LGBT, while others were there to support.