"Vulnerable communities are under attack right now, and they're suffering systemic oppression, including transphobia, homophobia, and racism", Natalie James, who served as one of the organizers for DSA's contingent at the New York City Pride march, told ABC News by phone from the event.
"Things are changing quickly and we have to take a stand and be noticed", Reyes' husband, Paul Brady, added. But some of them also got political.
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She said the parade being televised for the first time gives people a wider audience. "I felt like this would be a way to not necessarily rebel, but just my way to show solidarity for marginalized people in trying times", said Hecker, a marketing consultant who lives in suburban Chicago.
As the same NY parade started, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that artist Anthony Goicolea was chosen to design the first official monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people commissioned by the state of NY.
Cuomo also recalled how NY became the first large state to approve same-sex marriage in 2011.
Turkish authorities allowed pride marches to take place for more than a decade since the first one was held in 2003.
But the pride celebrations also faced some resistance from within the LGBT community itself. Some activists feel the events are centered on gay white men and unconcerned with issues that matter particularly to minorities in the movement, such as economic inequality and policing.More news: Trump says Obama "Did Nothing"
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After the event grew in popularity and attendance over the previous decade, the governor of the city banned the parade in 2015, citing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
"Our security will be provided by recognizing us in the constitution, by securing justice, by equality and freedom", event organizers said in a statement.
Organizers of the event had vowed to march in central Taksim Square despite the order from the Istanbul governor's office that banned gay-pride observances for the third year in a row. The statement also said the governor's office had not received a valid parade application - a claim rejected by organizers.
"The pride celebration is a platform for that dialogue to happen", San Francisco Pride board president Michelle Meow said this week.
Gay pride parades in New York, San Francisco and other cities are spotlighting resistance to what participants see as new pressure on gay rights.
NY parade-goers Zhane Smith-Garris, 20, Olivia Rengifo, 19 and Sierra Dias, 20, all black women from New Jersey, said they did not feel there was inequality in the movement.
Activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights say they will march for Pride in Istanbul, despite a ban by the governor's office.
There were scattered counter protests and a few disruptions, including a small group in NY urging parade-goers to "repent for their sins". Many said the political climate was prompting them to turn out.