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Love Wins At the Biggest Pride Parade in NYC

25 Jun


     The month long tribute to Pride ended with the largest parade the city has seen to date.  With close to 2 million loud people lining the new parade route, it was sure to be one of the best parades so far and that it was.  As a test run to next years big 50th anniversary of Stonewall and already labeled as WorldPride, the new parade route started on 16th St. and 7th Avenue and worked its way down to Christopher St. over to 8th St. and turned up 5th Avenue. It was in reverse direction than in previous years. It seemed to worked although there were a few lags here and there but that’s to be expected with well over 100 floats making its way to the parade. Pride has by far the largest corporate sponsorship of any parade with all affirming their Pride with the marchers and revelers. The first weekend of summer was typically hot and brought out the biggest parade crowd.  Usually the mounted police signal the start of the parade, but come noon time the Sirens MC revved up their motorcycles and got the crowd worked up for a day of love.



Love Wins


Stonewall Inn


Grand Marshall tennis legend and activist Billie Jean King waved to the adoring crowd. Soon after were fellow Grand Marshalls Kenita Placide , and Tyler Ford. Lambda Legal had a large group bringing awareness to legal issues to the LGBT community. A favorite part of the parade is when the original Stonewall Veterans wave to the crowd. The parade route has always passed by the Stonewall Inn where riots broke out on June 28, 1969 and is considered to be the start of the Gay Rights Movement. I did have to look across the street from the Stonewall just to make sure the flag was raised high, even though your Federal government attempted to disown the flag down just days before the biggest event celebrating Pride.


Taking Pride In Flight


Flag From Orlando


Showing Their Pride


Once the parade VIPs and local politicians greeted the crowd, that’s when the fun started. Marchers displayed some of their best outfits and makeup and plenty of love and pride to go with it. A perennial favorite is the Delta float and crowd. Aside from the lovely attendants that get the crowd worked up, they also displayed one of the largest handmade rainbow flags of the parade. The flag was created shortly after the Orlando massacre at Pulse nightclub in 2016 and was proudly displayed by a group of about 50 people.


Pumping Out Some Good Tunes


Flaggots Turning It Out


Spinners Having Fun


There was more solidarity with law enforcement than in previous years. The relationship between the police and the LGBT community has always been contentious but this year, NYPD and FDNY sent their representatives to the parade. Even the FBI sent a small group to show their Pride. With over 100 floats and corporate sponsors, there was plenty to cheer about. With every corner of the world celebrating their Pride, the international section was having a great time. Of course a parade just isn’t a parade without a marching band and the highlighted band every year is the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band. They always do it the right way. Not too far behind them were the crowd favorite Flaggots showing off their moves. They were so good I had to show their moves off twice.



Love wins over and over again. With as much hate that has been spewed from the top down, it’s even more important now than ever for all people to unite and join in this special day filled with Pride. I walked away from this parade proud to be New Yorker and a little deaf with all the loud music and screaming but it was the most fun of any parade so far.  And if you think this was a fun parade, wait until next year’s for WorldPride.   The BIG 50!!!

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Rainbow Rising In Resistance at the Pride Parade

26 Jun

The Tide Is Rising

     The excitement was already noticeable on the parade route on 5th Ave. well before the 47th annual Pride March got under way.  Parade organizers made this year’s theme “We Are Proud” as the well over 1 million revelers were ready for one of the biggest parties of its kind in the nation.  For the first time, the annual event was televised on a national network, WABC, to millions of viewers across the country. An estimated 40,000 marchers were on hand surpassing last years effort and making this parade one of the biggest in the city this year. As usual kicking off the parade was the thunderous roar of hundreds of motorcycles from the Sirens MC, sending the crowd into a frenzy into what would be an amazing event. The crowd was treated to some parade VIPs that have an outstanding impact on the lives they touch. Grand Marshall ACLU members with Gavin Grimm, a transgender student fighting for the right to use the restroom with the gender most identified with were waving to the crowd.  Right behind them was truly one of NYs Bravest, Brooke Guinan, the first transgender firefighter in NYC. GMHC Asst Director, Krishna Stone and Asian online dating founder of Blued, Geng Le made the start of the parade of immeasurable importance.


FDNY Bravest Brooke Guinan


The Fight Is On


Proud to Resist


     As usual, local politicians walk down the parade route to the cheers of the excited crowd. The cheers were loudest for NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership in getting same sex marriage and rights pushed through in NY in 2011. But the work can’t stop there. Gov. Cuomo did boycott state sponsored travel North Carolina over that states anti-LGBT stance. With the current climate in Washington DC bent on having important policies reverting to States discretion, the battleground for LGBT rights could start to erode if left up to some State legislatures. There was a loud and clear message sent by activists all throughout the parade that they will not back down without a fight. Issues from healthcare, to police brutality to trans discrimination to climate change were all on the agenda and this helped to raise awareness. The tide is definitely rising and the Resistance movement is in full force and gaining more momentum.


Joining Forces


Big Band Swinging It


Flaggots Doing Their Thing


     Corporate sponsorship was huge in the parade and Delta and T-Mobile had some of the biggest crowds. Even conservative leaning Disney got in on the action.  In this parade, a few contest judges stationed over on 6th Ave. and 8th St. got a chance to review the many floats, bands, and performers. The choices were tough since there was so much talent to pick from.   A perennial favorite are the Flaggots with their precision flag tossing. They really got a huge ovation from the crowd especially as they headed right past the Stonewall Inn. Sometimes big surprises come from the least expected places. A float from the Metropolitan Community Church of NY had a nice rap about love and Jesus.  A growing favorite is PFLAG group with groups from all over the Tri-state area.  They got a huge ovation from the exuberant crowd. Another crowd favorite is the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps. They really got the crowd worked up.  Growing in vast numbers is the international contingency. Groups representing all parts of the world marched in some stunning costumes. It was especially inspirational to see groups from the Middle Eastern countries representing. A spirited group from Korea played traditional drum beats with Resist signs all over.


PFLAG Getting Much Love


International Groove


Mouse Ears in Tune


     This was one of the best parades the city has seen this year. Pride was evident everywhere you looked. From the seniors to the kids, people were all caught up in a the biggest party and love fest to date. Love is Love is Love.



Photos contributed by: Albert J Terc

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