By Andrea Alvarez

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) – After two years, downtown St. Petersburg came alive for the St. Pete Pride Parade this weekend. It was the first pride parade since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Tampa Bay.

“The parade was absolutely epic,” said Tiffany Freisberg, President of St. Pete Pride. ”It’s one thing to know that you’re going to have hundreds of thousands of people to be there, but then to actually be there to see it, to feel the vibe and to experience it was.. honestly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”

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St. Pete Pride festivities began Friday afternoon just hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

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“We kind of knew from the week earlier that maybe this was going to be happening but then to actually see it in black and white was a very, very different experience,” said Freisberg. “While we do not support a certain part of individual politician, we do oppose legislation that hurts our community.”

Many are worried, the decision to ban abortion rights is the first step to going after rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas urged the court to revisit rulings related to same-sex marriage rights and contraception.

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“I think it’s a really strong reminder that just because we’ve reached a certain level in the senate doesn’t mean that the work is done,” said Freisberg. Florida LGBTQ community leaders express feelings of angst. “I think every single person who cares about these issues should be mad as hell is what I think,” she said.