Orange is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria kicked off the Manchester Gay Pride event last Saturday.
“The fact that a Hollywood star is Grand Marshal for our pride is just amazing,” a parade-goer told the Gay Star News.
DeLaria started her career in 1993 as America’s first openly gay TV comic, introducing herself as a “big dyke” on The Arsenio Hall Show.
When asked to lead Manchester Pride Parade, she didn’t hesitate.
“I’ve been a professional lesbian for 33 years so if anyone asks me to come to a Pride I’m going to come,” she said. “It’s really important to me to put a positive spin on being a butch. Something as visible as Manchester Pride is really going to help me along those lines so of core I’m here. Plus the girl’s here are really hot.”
The parade started in Liverpool and finished next to Manchester’s Gay Village. The four-day festival brought out thousands of people.
“This is my 15th Pride as an involved patron,” British actor Antony Cotton said. “It’s beautiful. It’s nothing but a pleasure to be here.”
Twenty-three years ago, Manchester’s Pride festival started as a “collection of bring-and-buy stalls outside a pub.”
Now, the festival aims to show the world “love has no boundaries.”
“This great, great day says it is okay to be fay,” Manchester Chity Council’s city spokesman Pat Karney said.