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Photos of LGBTQ+ celebrations in smaller US cities

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LGBTQ pride events have long been mainstay celebrations in big cities, and their presence in conservative communities and rural America has grown in recent years.

Media coverage can focus on star-studded Pride events in cities such as West Hollywood and New York — home of the country’s largest pride parade each year with millions in attendance —  but in a time of heightened political and physical threats to LGBTQ communities, organizers say promoting queer joy in cities and towns of all sizes can serve as a reminder that we’re never really alone, no matter where we are.

For the second year in a row, there was an increase in the number of states that grew more hostile to the LGBTQ+ community, according to a new report shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

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