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Grand Marshal announced for Chicago's 49th Pride Parade

Orlando Cruz to lead 49th annual Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 24

Chicago, IL — Orlando "El Fenomeno" Cruz, the first openly gay active professional boxer, has been named grand marshal of the Chicago 49th Annual Pride Parade, organizers announced Friday. 

Orlando Cruz
Orlando Cruz
Cruz came out in 2012 and has since been an active spokesperson for the LGBTQ community.

"I want to be true to myself," Cruz said in 2012. "I want to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."

He has received great support from fellow boxers, as well as Ricky Martin and actress Sonia Braga, among others. In an interview at the time, he said that he received great support from the Puerto Rican people, "They gave me their support, their care and their love."  LGBTQ communities also embraced him, as more and more celebrities across different fields have been coming out in recent years.

Cruz represented Puerto Rico at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia and won the World Boxing Organizational Featherweight Title in 2016. He has held four world boxing titles. He was among the first class of inductees into the Chicago-based National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Cruz currently operates a gym in Puerto Rico where young athletes train to improve and potentially become professional athletes themselves. He will be fighting in the near future again for another World Title in boxing.

On Saturday, June 16 , Cruz will be honored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center as "King" of the Chicago Puerto Rican People's Parade.

A week later, Cruz will serve as Grand Marshal, leading the procession in the 2018 Chicago Pride Parade.

The parade, organized by PRIDEChicago, steps-off from Broadway and Montrose at Noon on Sunday, June 24. 

Related: Mayor Emanuel proclaims June as LGBTQ Pride Month in Chicago

Related: 2018 Chicago Pride Month events 

2017 Pride Parade Photos: Gallery One | Gallery Two | Gallery Three | Gallery Four
Wow, happy for this guy that he's comfortable being out in the sport he performs in, but the organizers of Chicago's Pride Parade are really scraping the bottom of the barrel if this is the best they could come up with. At least he's not a drag queen, or transgender. At least he's being celebrated for doing something courageous. I guess we could have done worse...
Posted by on Fri, 5/18/2018 3:19 PM
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Who TF is he?
Posted by on Fri, 5/18/2018 6:47 PM
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Lizette Rios \ud83d\ude31
Posted by on Fri, 5/18/2018 7:08 PM
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{ts '2018-06-19 03:17:45'}