2016-06-01 / Features

Queens Pride Grand Marshals


(L. to r.): Queens Pride Co-Chair Andrew Ronan, OutRight Action International Digital Communications Manager Marianna Moneymaker (representing Executive Director Jessica Stern), Council Member Daniel Dromm, Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, AIDS Center of Queens County Associate Executive Director Rosemary Lopez, AIDS Center of Queens County Site Director Robert Steptoe, and Queens Pride Business Manager Bill Meehan gather for the announcement of Queens Pride's 2016 Grand Marshals. (L. to r.): Queens Pride Co-Chair Andrew Ronan, OutRight Action International Digital Communications Manager Marianna Moneymaker (representing Executive Director Jessica Stern), Council Member Daniel Dromm, Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, AIDS Center of Queens County Associate Executive Director Rosemary Lopez, AIDS Center of Queens County Site Director Robert Steptoe, and Queens Pride Business Manager Bill Meehan gather for the announcement of Queens Pride's 2016 Grand Marshals. NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm joined Queens Pride Co-Chair Andrew Ronan and Queens Pride Business Manager Bill Meehan in announcing the selection of three remarkable leaders as Grand Marshals for the 24th Annual Queens Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade and Festival which will be held on Sunday, June 5 in Jackson Heights.

The Grand Marshals are Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Outright Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern and the AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC), an affiliate of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).

“Queens Pride is very lucky to have three diverse Grand Marshals who personify our 2016 theme, “El Orgullo Nos Une/Pride Unites Us,” said Alan Reiff, Co-Chair of Queens Pride: “ACQC, with their broad and diverse outreach to help the Queens community with health and life issues; Council Member Julissa Ferraras-Copeland for representing the 21st Council District with equality and fairness and for being the first Latina elected to political office in Queens; and Jessica Stern, the Executive Director of OutRight Action International for her courageous leadership in bringing equality and freedom to our diverse LGBTs community around the world, who just happens to be from Queens! Each is a role model and we are proud to have them as 2016 Grand Marshals.”

“Over 80 groups have registered to march in the Queens Pride Parade,” said Ronan. “Dozens of community-based organizations will be participating in our festival headlined by Crystal Waters! All of these participants stand with our Grand Marshals in support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. There is still time to register for the parade and festival. Visit www.queenspride.org so you can be part of pride in Queens this year!”

“As a Council Member representing a growing Translatina community in Queens, it is my pleasure and my honor to serve as a Grand Marshal for the 24th Annual Queens Pride Parade and be an upstander against violence and discrimination targeting the LGBTQ community,” said Ferreras-Copeland. “The Queens Pride Parade is a celebration of our human rights, it represents our unity as a community and sends a clear message that every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individual has a place to live and love here.”

“ ACQC/ AHF has been a sponsor of the PRIDE Parade since its inception,” said ACQC Executive Director Philip Glotzer. ACQC is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS Services in the borough of Queens serving over 9,500 clients in five different sites throughout the borough. ACQC is, an affiliate of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation which is the largest AIDS service organization in the world. We are proud to be a part of the LGBTQ community and are thrilled to be a Grand Marshal of the parade this year.”

“Jessica Stern, Executive Director of the OutRight Action International formerly known as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, is honored to be a Grand Marshal for Queens Pride,” said OutRight Action International Digital Communications Manager Marianna Moneymaker. “We are delighted to be recognized by the LGBTQ community in Queens, one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs’ in New York City. Pride month is about visibility, comradery, a time when the LGBTQ community comes together to support each other and celebrate each other. Unfortunately, in many places around the world Pride events are not welcomed or allowed. Every year Queens becomes home for a week to international LGBTIQ activists and advocates as part of OutRight’s Human Rights week. During this week, we advocate with over 30 countries and United Nations agencies in the fight for global LGBTIQ rights. OutRight believes in human rights for LGBTQ people everywhere. We thank Queens Pride for inviting us and supporting our mission.”

In response to the homophobic attacks on the Queens lesbian and gay communities the parade was originally conceived in 1993 by School Board 24 President Mary Cummins, and the Queens parade has become a wonderful mixture of party and politics welcomed by the local community.

The Queens celebration is the first in a series of very special events that kick off a month of Pride activities citywide.

Dromm, who in 1992 courageously came out as an openly gay public school teacher is the parade’s founder and a former Co-Chair of Queens Pride. Deeply committed to civil rights and social justice, Dromm now continues to fight against prejudice, discrimination and violence as a member of the New York City Council.

“The Queens LGBT Pride Parade continues to spread the empowering message that we in the LGBT community are your family, friends and neighbors, said Dromm. “For 24 years, this parade has opened the hearts and minds of Queens residents and has made the historic gains the LGBT community has seen over the past several years possible. I look forward to marching down 37th Avenue with Council Member Ferreras-Copeland, OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern and the AIDS Center of Queens County in celebration of all we have achieved.”

With “Pride Unites Us/El Orgullo Nos Une” as this year’s international theme, the parade kicks off at noon in Jackson Heights at 89th Street and 37th Avenue, and goes down 37th Avenue, ending at 75th Street, where it disperses into a festival. The Multicultural Festival runs from 11 am until 6 pm and is held on 37th Road stretching from 73rd to 77th Street.

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