By any measure, Kenosha’s 2nd Annual Gay Pride March was a success.
The July 12 event began with hundreds of people gathering around the Simmons Library in downtown Kenosha, where supportive local leaders inspired them with pro-equality speeches. The group then marched down Library Park, turned north on Sheridan Road and south on 7th Avenue. Spirits were high, despite intermittently showery weather.
There were no protesters.
Representatives of other progressive groups marched along to show their support, including members of the animal rights group Compassion Over Killing and backers of Amar Kaleka, a Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat now held by right-wing Republican Paul Ryan.
Dan Seavers, one of three march organizers, said the purpose of the event was to raise awareness and bring together the community.
“It is not a political march, it is not about any specific issue,” Seavers said. “It is to show people we are just like everyone else. We are children, parents, employees, employers, neighbors. But we want to celebrate who we are and bring people together who may not normally come together.”
Diamond Hartwell and Dayvin Hallmon also organized the event.
“I can’t expressed how impressed I am that this came together,” Hartwell said. “Ultimately we’d like to take this to the streets, and expand the block party into a festival.”
Another march is planned for 2015.