Gay Pride Parade Grand Marshals Announced
Councilmember Daniel Dromm and Queens Pride were joined by Congressmember Joseph Crowley at a press conference on May 10 to announce the Julio Rivera family and Queens Center for Gay Seniors as the grand marshals for the 20th Annual Queens Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade and Festival which will be held on June 3 in Jackson Heights.
Dromm originally founded the Queens Pride Parade and Festival in response to the anti-gay murder of Rivera in 1990. These events brought the LGBT community of Queens together to achieve respect, and, in doing so, identified a need to take LGBT advocacy to the streets.
“When we started this parade we wanted everyone to know that we, in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, are their family, friends and neighbors,” said Dromm, who in 1992 came out as an openly gay public school teacher and is also a former co-chair of Queens Pride. “In many ways this parade has opened the hearts and minds of Queens residents to make this moment possible. On its 20th anniversary, I am thrilled to have the Rivera family and the Queens Center for Gay Seniors as our grand marshals.”
The Queens Center for Gay Seniors is the only community-based senior center in Queens that provides educational and recreational activities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) older adults. As such, it offers a unique and much-needed borough-wide home to older LGBT adults.
“For 20 years, the Queens Gay Pride Parade has brought the entire community together to celebrate and embrace our rich diversity,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D–Queens, The Bronx). “I am honored to stand with my good friend Councilman Dromm and Queens Pride in officially kicking off this year’s festivities by naming this year’s parade marshals. I know it’s going to, once again, be a great event for the Queens community.”
The first Queens Pride march was held in June of 1993, and since that time, the parade and festival have grown tremendously. Attracting more than 40,000 spectators, the parade is now the second largest Pride celebration in the New York metropolitan area. The Queens celebration is the first in a series of very special events that kick off a month of Pride activities citywide.
A Generation of Pride in Queens is this year’s theme. The parade kicks off at noon in Jackson Heights and starts at 85th Street and 37th Avenue, and goes down 37th Avenue, ending at 75th Street where it disperses into the festival. The Multicultural Festival runs from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and is held on 37th Road stretching from 73rd to 77th Streets.
Queens Pride promotes the visibility and accomplishments of the LGBTQ community and fosters acceptance by the many cultures and religions represented in our borough.