The LGBTQ community made great progress under President Obama in the fight for their rights, but on the heels of a new presidential administration, many in the community said they are worried about the prospect of moving backwards.
Saturday night, thousands gathered for the annual Pride Parade to celebrate just how far gay rights have come. “You can't put the gay genie back in the bottle, there's no way we are going to undo the rights that we have achieved, we are only going to keep marching forward.”
Marching alongside thousands of others in the parade, Jimmy Flannigan the first openly gay Austin City Council Member celebrated the progress of rights for the LGBTQ community. While the parade is a moment for celebration Flannigan said they still have a long-ways to go.
“Lets’ not forget, there are still rights we are fighting for, we cannot be open in our employment, we are still struggling to be open in our military,” he said. A major setback for the LGBTQ community happened back in July when President Trump announced on Twitter transgender people would be banned from the U.S. Military, “It's really the ongoing struggle, every time you take two steps forward like with marriage equality in 2015, you're going to have to take one step back and keep fighting, and that's what we're doing,” Flannigan said.
Those at the parade said it's important to show support and make sure LGBTQ rights don't go backwards.
Jennifer Cullen was marching in the parade, “We as adults that can vote need to go and just support them and be activists for them. You always have to be an advocate for your children but also your humans that surround you,” she said. Tashaun Hunter and Justice Hamilton were watching the parade, “It's important that we stand strong regardless of the leadership of the country right now it's important that we show who we are going to become.”
Late September, the nation's top military officer General Joseph Dunford said he supported transgender troops, and anyone who meets the military's demanding standards should be allowed to continue to serve.
“If you do good at your job, you deserve to have that job, it does not matter any of your demographics, LGBT, gender, race, transgender members of the military serve with distinction and honor, the generals know it, the communities know it, the military knows it, it's just time for President Trump to know it,” Flannigan said.
Because of Hurricane Harvey the Pride Parade had to be rescheduled.
The Pride Festival was also moved, it's now set for Saturday, October 21st.