New York City is gearing up for NYC Pride weekend which revolves around the NYC Pride March this Sunday, June 26th. The civil rights event is the largest of its kind in the United States and starts at noon at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets. The NYC Pride March has always been incredibly significant in symbolizing the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ community and started on June 28, 1970, exactly one year after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a historically gay hangout in Greenwich Village, NYC. The raid ignited a firestorm of demonstrations, now known as the Stonewall Riots which are now credited as the beginning of the modern-day Gay Rights Movement.
This year the horrific June 12th shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, adds an incredibly heavy layer of meaning to Pride. The weekend after the massacre, thousands gathered at the Stonewall Inn to mourn but many, many, more people are expected on Sunday to march in solidarity with the 49 deceased victims of the attack, celebrate the community, and combat fear. In response to Orlando, Heritage of Pride, the organizers of NYC Pride released the following statement:
“All events will continue to go on as scheduled. The reason for this is simple: we must never let those who wish to silence us win.”
Many people echo this sentiment and due to this, the NYC Pride March is expected to have the largest turnout in history. In response, NYC Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, has stated that the police presence will be at a maximum. Attendees are urged to come with as little possessions as possible in order to expedite security checks.
There will be several other NYC Pride events on Sunday, including PrideFest, a free street festival from 11am-6pm. This year will be the 23rd anniversary of the event which features vendors, performers, and activities, with the mission of promoting equality. “Clown in a gown” Bianca Del Rio will host PrideFest and Brooklyn-based singer, Parson James is the featured musician. VIP tickets are also offered for the event for $35. From 2-6pm on the same day will be the infamous Dance on the Pier. Now in its 30th year, the event bills itself as “the largest fundraiser for NYC Pride and our LGBT nonprofit grant winners.” Judging by the promotional photos for the dance, it seems like Fergie will be this year’s special performer. Tickets are still available.
Marking the beginning of the weekend’s festivities is the NYC Pride Rally on Friday, June 24th from 7-10pm at Hudson River Park. Like the NYC Pride March, the event first occurred as a reaction to the Stonewall Riots. The very first rally was one month after the police raid in 1969.
Image 1 courtesy of TimeOut
Image 2 courtesy of NY Daily News