John Ramos

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The 42nd Annual Pride Parade turned out to be a record-breaker.

Organizers don’t have hard numbers yet, but they say the turnout was the highest ever. There was also a record number of floats, making it was the longest parade in the event’s history.

But even with record numbers, San Francisco’s Pride Parade is something you hear long before you see it.

Pride 2014 Photo Gallery

Pride 2014 Full Coverage

It’s a little like the fight for gay rights itself, a rumbling heard from a distance until it finally breaks into full view, impossible to ignore.

The parade is loud and silly and playfully in-your-face. And what many once considered a freak show has become positively mainstream.

“Because everybody is just becoming more accepting…and you accept people for who they are,” Martinez resident Dayna Scudder said.

From the Boy Scouts to the military to gay marriage, battles have been fought and won. It hasn’t been easy, and change has come at a glacial pace.

“It’s the way it’s meant to happen, it’s happening at the right speed at the right time,” said parade marcher Carleton Starr. “It’s here, but I think there’s a great struggle still to be fought.”

Al Moser has been fighting discrimination for so long that he’s actually a bit reluctant to acknowledge any success at all.

“Is it hard to admit that you have made real progress? I think it is hard. I feel that this is a bubble that is not representative of the country,” Moser said.

But they say real change happens through evolution not revolution. Activists may have begun the struggle, but it is the young generation who will determine the future.

“My parents raised me to just love everyone and not care,” said Fairfield resident Sarah Hill. “Like it’s none of my business who you love, you know what I mean? Like, it’s not my business.”

For many young people here, being gay is just no big deal, and one day, that may be the truest expression of equality. They may have come here for the party, but they are actually changing the world.

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