New York City’s Pride March garnered 75,000 parade marchers and approximately two million attendees on June 30th, making it the largest LGBTQ+ parade in the United States. This year’s march came as the lobbying organization, Human Rights Campaign, declared a national state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ community for the first time in its history, citing extensive homophobic and transphobic legislation. Leading up to the parade, which commemorates the Stonewall riots of 1969, the Stonewall National Monument flag display was vandalized on several different occasions. Nevertheless, NYC’s streets were filled with rainbow-clad supporters of all ages to celebrate Pride. Down in Washington Square Park, parade goers swam and danced in the fountain near the historic arch.
This year’s grand marshals were Billy Porter, Yasmin Benoit, AC Dumlao, Hope Giselle, and Randolfe Wicker. The parade began at 25th St. and 5th Ave. and circled around the Stonewall National Monument and the NYC Aids Memorial before finishing at 15th Street.
Kelly, a mother who attended Pride with her two young children, said, “I go to Pride to teach my kids that you should take pride in who you are, no matter who you’re attracted to.” Another young women who attended Pride with a group of friends explained, “I’m at Pride to support my LGBTQ friends and have fun. Pride is a really fun day that we love coming to every year.”
Some conservative news outlets reported that at the annual drag march on Friday leading up to the parade, some of the marchers chanted, “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re coming for your children.”
However the chant, which came from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, was primarily seen as a satirical jab at the anti-drag legislative rhetoric of recent months.
Shortly before the march, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a Trans Safe Bill sponsored by local NY State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblyman Harry Bronson.
“Today, on Pride, New York makes clear to the nation that our state welcomes transgender children and their families by protecting them and their physicians who provide gender-affirming care with the enactment of our Trans Safe Haven legislation,” said Hoylman-Sigal, who is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This legislation comes at a crucial time as right-wing lawmakers are waging a war against transgender children and their families across the country, with twenty states having already banned or restricted gender-affirming care for young people. I’m grateful to Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and my legislative partner Assembly Member Bronson for their support of this vital legislation and continuing to make New York a leader in supporting LGBTQ rights.”