Youth Express Themselves At New York Pride Event Youth Pride festivities took place on Saturday — part of the World Pride event in New York City.
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Youth Express Themselves At New York Pride Event

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Youth Express Themselves At New York Pride Event

Youth Express Themselves At New York Pride Event

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's the last weekend of Pride Month, a month to celebrate the history and contributions of LGBTQ Americans. In New York City today, some festivities were focused on kids, especially the family-friendly Youth Pride event.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yes, Youth Pride. How're we doing today?

(CHEERING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: No, honey. I said, how're we doing today?

MARTIN: NPR's Neda Ulaby was there speaking with attendees, like siblings Wyatt and Elliott McDaniel, who identify as transgender. They've come from Syracuse, Ind., to celebrate.

WYATT MCDANIEL: I think it's kind of a unique experience to come here with a family because, like, a lot of people - maybe, like, they're in college, and they're all coming when they're friends. So it's kind of, like, interesting that like something like this can be a family event, too.

ELLIOTT MCDANIEL: Just, there's not many people like us from where we're from. So down here, it's a lot better, I guess.

MARTIN: Sixteen-year-old Lily Esdailes from New Jersey was cringing a bit at her parents, who were not holding back their enthusiasm or their dance moves.

LILY ESDAILES: Everyone gets to be themselves for one day, and I love being able to experience that and not having to hide yourself at all - being able to just express yourself in a way that we normally can't with all the dancing and music and everything.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Wouldn't it be more fun without your parents?

LILY: No comment.

ZION WILEY: I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm really glad that I came.

ULABY: Sixteen-year-old Zion Wiley dressed conservatively in jeans and a T-shirt. But mom Natasha Wiley made up for it with rainbow stickers on her cheeks and a Pride flag sticking out of her hair.

NATASHA WILEY: We're not from New York. We're from Dallas. And, you know, there's a totally different way of being in Dallas, in the South particularly. Our hometown is a very small town - one red light, you know? That kind of place.

And we've planned this trip, you know, around Youth Pride because I want him to have at least one weekend where he could just be completely free - you know, not have to worry about - and he can wear what he wants to wear. He can be how he wants to be. I just want that for him.

ZION: I'm not really, like, very out about it, as I'd like to. But here, I feel I can - like, I can let loose a little bit.

N. WILEY: He's such a good boy, and I love him so much, and I'm so proud of him.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALBERTO COSTAS' "THE VISION OF THE VISITOR (NANDO PUIG REMIX)")

MARTIN: Thanks to NPR's Neda Ulaby for those voices from Youth Pride in New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALBERTO COSTAS' "THE VISION OF THE VISITOR (NANDO PUIG REMIX)")

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