People in Charlottesville March in Solidarity for LGBTQ Community

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marchers in Charlottesville at IX Art Park marchers in Charlottesville at IX Art Park
marchers in Charlottesville marchers in Charlottesville
Dreama Belle Dreama Belle

People in Charlottesville are joining the national day of solidarity and unity for the LGBTQ community.

Dozens of people gathered at IX Art Park and marched on the Downtown Mall to raise awareness of the discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people face in this country around the world.

"Today we are marching in solidarity, just as we are all across the nation. It’s a really exciting time to be able to come together as a community and show our strength in numbers today," Dreama Belle of House of Belle said.

Charlottesville's Pride Community Network hosted its own “Pride March,” mirroring a march happening in Washington, D.C.

"Here in Charlottesville and beyond there are people who feel very lonely and very ostracized, even today, so that’s why we're marching," Amy Sarah Marshall of the Cville Pride Community Network said.

LGBTQ people and their allies stood with each other in the face of adversity to show solidarity and equality.

"There’s people here who are trans, there’s people here who are asexual, there is people here who experience poverty, there’s people here who are people of color and so my solidarity is me standing for their whole experience,” Marshall said.

"I don't see LGBT, I just see human beings whenever I walk out the door every day and being able to exemplify that and make that comfortable for all people to be able to live together in unity is what equality is to me,” Belle said.

Differences aside, participants are taking steps toward understanding each other.

"Having solidarity for people and really forming that bond that goes beyond our differences, it sounds kind of cheesy but I think it’s something that we can achieve one conversation at a time and this is one way to start that off," Marshall said.

Cville Pride stresses that this was a peaceful event. Elected officials including 57th District Del. David Toscano (D) and Charlottesville City Councilor Bob Fenwick joined in the march.