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LGBT make-out rally at Trump Tower: Participants march through midtown

Mike Hisey, 54, dons a Kellyanne Conway Inauguration

Mike Hisey, 54, dons a Kellyanne Conway Inauguration Day-inspired coat while standing inside a makeshift kissing booth at the rally on Feb. 12, 2017. Photo Credit: Alison Fox

Members of the LGBT community marched past Trump Tower on Sunday to show solidarity to underprivileged groups.

A group of about 40 participants of the “Lgbtq+ Make Out At Trump Tower” rally met at 61st Street and Central Park West at about 1 p.m. and then marched to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. From there, they continued down Central Park South.

The rally was originally positioned as a mass make-out session in front of Trump Tower, but kissing was kept to a minimum, in part due to lower-than-expected turnout.

“Because of the weather, a lot of people who were coming from out of state ... could not make it,” said Vincent DeSeno, 19, one of the rally’s organizers.

DeSeno added that the heightened online interest in the event remains encouraging.

“It shows that we as communities, as any marginalized community, do not want to be silent and do not want to be disrespected,” he said. “The fact that we all are so ready to stand up and to speak and to shout is really great for me to see.”

Mike Hisey, 54, came to the rally donning a Kellyanne Conway Inauguration Day-inspired red, white and blue coat. Standing inside a makeshift kissing booth tucked under an umbrella, Hisey said he’s been protesting since President Donald Trump won the election.

“You have to keep coming out,” he said. “Peacefully, purposefully you have keep coming.”

One demonstrator, Ephie Aardema, who identifies as bisexual, came wearing an apron full of “vag badges” and pins.

“Gay rights are human rights,” the 25-year-old from Jersey City said. “It’s really important right now that we preemptively defend marriage equality in light of this new administration.”

The Philadelphia native said his costumes “take a little anxiety and the stress out of [the protests] and make people laugh.”

Organizers of the event said that all members of the LGBT community and allies were welcome, and that no make-out partner was required.

“President Trump insists he stands for the LGBTQ+ community, the LGBTQ+ community stands for the fair and just treatment of all underprivileged groups,” organizers wrote. “President Trump, if you are truly for us, then listen to us!”


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