LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Saturday would have been the annual ‘Pride’ festival in Lexington, but instead it was rain or shine for a march in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
The rain poured down as protesters marched and chanted things like, “stand up, fight back, no more black lives under attack.” They even stood in the middle of an intersection for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during the downpour in honor of George Floyd.
Organizers say the day was about unity.
The board president of the Pride Community Services Organization, Wanda McCants, says one of its goals is to bring more Black LGBTQ voices to the forefront.
“Because for too long, too long, they’ve been silenced and we’ve been in compliance with that,” says McCants.
The two groups have a shared history, tracing back to the stonewall riots of 1969. It’s known as sparking the gay rights movement, which was spearheaded by Black transgender women.
“Without making some moves, shaking some things up, we can’t make change happen,” says McCants.
Black Lives Matter organizer Sarah Williams says Saturday’s protest showed the communities are united, and she wants more.
“We truly need to have that shift in society and in this broader society so that we can live in a place where justice is what love looks like in public, as Cornell West would say,” Williams says.
The day wasn’t without controversy though. A counter-protester showed up with a sign saying homosexuality is a sin. Protesters demanded he leave, and he eventually did.
Wanda McCants says she knows marching the streets isn’t for everyone.
“We see you,” McCants says. “We know you’re out there, and I personally want you to do what you can. I don’t think anybody should be judged about where they are in their process.”