Forty years ago, LGBT people rioted at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York City to protest harassment by the police.

During the LGBT Pride March on Sunday, June 28, I was among the million or so people cheering on the LGBT employee police group. That’s a tangible measure of how far we have progressed.

Bailey House float in the LGBT Pride March on Sunday, June 28

Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.

We all know that there’s much more to be done to attain full civil rights for LGBT people, but for this moment I want to focus on the upside. There was much to celebrate on this 40th anniversary. Even HIV/AIDS had an upside during the event.

There was the traditional somber moment of silence for those who have died from HIV/AIDS, but the floats sponsored by amfAR and Bailey House (pics attached of both, including my finger in the Bailey House pic) gave the crowds a message of hope.

They also provided much needed visibility for a disease that too many LGBT people think is over.