NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Wearing colors of the rainbow celebrating the 16th year of National Coming Out Day, hundreds of thousands of people across Long Island stood up against the discrimination and violence of the LGBT community.
Aaron Braun said it was about respect and acceptance.
"Today is about me being able to be myself, to feel proud of who I am," he said. "We really need a lot of ally help to combat a lot of the heterosexism and homophobia and transphobia that not only students but all LGBT people face."
Over 85 percent of LGBT students report verbal harassment in their schools, according to recent studies.
LGBT Network CEO and President David Kilmnick emphasized the importance of strengthening the local community despite what is happening nationally.
"If you live in Bethpage, Brookhaven, or Bridgehampton or even Brooklyn, you should have a safe space if you're LGBT," he said.
A safe space to live and be exactly who you are.