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Gay Parade Draws Array of Marchers

A wide range of marchers drew enthusiastic cheers Sunday from the estimated 1,000 people gathered for the seventh annual Orange County Lesbian and Gay Parade at UC Irvine.

“The stereotypes need to be broken,” said Byron Batista, who emceed the event for Orange County Cultural Pride Inc., which sponsored the parade on the second day of the weekend festival. “It’s important for people to realize that the gay and lesbian community isn’t only men who dress like women or women who look like lumberjacks.”

This year’s participants included a group of lesbian motorcycle riders; the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans of Long Beach/Orange County; a group of gay and lesbian owners of Miata sports cars and various gay and lesbian church groups.

“We’re everywhere and we’re not what people think we are,” Batista said. “We’re more than that.”

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Cathy Figel, 36, of Long Beach, agreed. “It’s important for the reaffirmation,” she said. “It lets you know that you’re not isolated.”


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