CHARLOTTE—Holding the same gay pride flag as he did in 1994, Darryl Logsdon felt nostalgic and proud before Sunday's first gay pride parade in Charlotte in 19 years.
“It brings back a lot of memories of where we were and the work we were doing,” Logsdon said.
Logston and Kimberly Melton served on the pride parade committee in 1994.
They said Charlotte's LGBT tolerance and visibility has changed dramatically since then.
"A march is more to advocate, a parade is to celebrate,” Logsdon said. “In 1994, we didn't have much to celebrate."
"We were afraid of what was going to happen,” Melton said. “This, there's no fear. This is happiness, joy, celebration."
Fifteen-hundred people took part in Sunday’s pride parade on Tryon Street in Uptown.
It included 50 corporate and business sponsors, with the likes of Bank of America, Food lion and US Airways.
“Just a sense of pride,” Davian Anderson said. “I mean, I think I’m really excited to be here; knowing that I’m walking with my coworkers and colleagues among other huge companies here in Charlotte."
Patsy Kinsey was also the first Charlotte mayor to take part in the parade.
"I am absolutely honored to be here, to be asked to be part of it,” Kinsey said. “But I would be here anyway."
Kinsey was joined by Charlotte's two openly gay council members, Billy Maddalon and Lawana Mayfield.
"It's been a long time coming that the quality of your work and your character speaks more to our constituency than whether or not we're in a same-sex loving relationship,” Mayfield said.
Logsdon said while Charlotte has a long way to go, he still has pride about the current, and future, state of LGBT inclusiveness in the Queen City.
"You had to hold out hope that this day would come,” Logsdon said. “And that's what makes today so special is that we have envisioned this for so long and we know that the march in 10 years will be even more incredible."