LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people sporting rainbow attire, “Make America Gay Again” hats and homemade protest signs took part on Sunday in a “Resist March” in Los Angeles against President Donald Trump, an event that took the place of the city’s annual pride parade.
The march ended with a rally and speeches by Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives; Mayor Eric Garcetti; and actor and drag queen icon RuPaul.
Despite the sharper focus on political issues this year, the event remained at its core a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity. It was one of dozens of pride events scheduled in major cities across the United States this month.
Trump has antagonized many minorities since taking office in January. A ReaClearPolitics average of opinion polls show his approval rating is currently 39 percent, although he retains strong support among Republicans.
Here are portraits of some of those who took part in the march through Los Angeles. One of two Reuters photographers among the crowd asked what each of them would say if given 30 seconds to sit down with Trump.
Katrina, 25 and Devon, 22
Katrina: “There are so many issues that young people really, really care about because it’s our future and our children’s future. We’re afraid.”
Samantha Jaque-Anton, 16
“I’d talk to him about how difficult it is to live in a place where people are discriminated against and ask him to look at the world through our eyes and my eyes and my mother’s eyes and all my friends around me and to see how his America has changed us.”
Jao Belanders, 22
“Why so much hate? It baffles me how someone can have so much hate in their heart and inequality and think that’s OK and that’s power. As president, he should be a leader who inspires hope and change for the better and not influence people to think negatively of other people. It breaks my heart to see that.”
Dalyan Johnston, 14, Lisa Rubio, 51, and Isabel Balboa, 50
Balboa: “He’s not going to change, so we’re going to change America because he’s not going to change us.”
Tommy Craven, 24
“When you see people out at Pride representing trans rights, representing gay rights, representing everybody’s rights, none of that is inclusive in anything that he’s putting forward. How do you expect our country to be great if a large part of the population is being kept out of that equation?”
Dale Rowse, 47 and John Allen, 53
Allen: “It’s very sad that we’re going backwards; it’s very disappointing.”
Brenda Coston, 47
“Women are not second class citizens; they have as many rights as anyone. People are people. Love is love. Equal rights for everyone. That’s why I‘m here today.”
Marisol Ramirez, 46 and Stephanie Hall, 37
Ramirez: “What I would say to Trump is to please consider the ramifications of his words, his actions. All that he’s doing and saying is perpetuating hate in our environment. It’s not good for our future, it’s not good for our children.”
Cristian Cifuentes, 47, and Teryn McCloseoff, 41
Cifuentes: “As Americans, we don’t believe in hate. We believe in hope.”
Caitrin Walsh, 23, and Allison Collette, 29
Collette: “Take a deep breath and just think about the fact that there’s other people in this world who may not have the privileges he was born with and to maybe take a second and try to see their point of view.”
Daniel Jennings, 24
“It’s not America First, it’s Humanity First. We’re all equal; it doesn’t matter what country you’re born in. It doesn’t matter where you emigrate to and where you end up. We’re all humans and we need to value human lives the same.”
Jessica Kilbury, 29
“Please give rights to my friends, my family, my brothers and sisters and make equality available for everyone.”
Loris Queen, 22, Scarlet Moon, 33 and Selena Blackwater, 25
Moon: “Open your heart. Open your heart.”
Khuong Lam, 35
“What are you doing? What have you done to our country? I love this country.”
See related photo essay: [reut.rs/2s2i28F]
Reporting by Lucy Nicholson and Mike Blake in Los Angeles; Writing by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty, Richard Chang and Frances Kerry