2017-07-05 / Features

Queens Showed Its Colors At The NYC Pride March

BY DR. DAN MILLER AND JOYCE VETERE MILOWSKI

Photos Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES
Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, deliver remarks to members of the LGBT community at the 2017 LGBT Pride Reception at Gracie Mansion.
Photos Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, deliver remarks to members of the LGBT community at the 2017 LGBT Pride Reception at Gracie Mansion. Tens of thousands of marchers lined up for what was called the largest march of its kind in the nation, The NYC Pride March. In its 46th year, the Pride March is an expression of freedom of sexuality, with representatives from the LGBT community coming to New York City from all corners of the United States, as well as from Europe, Asia, the United Kingdom, Africa and the Middle East to show their pride on Sunday, June 25.

A moment of silence was held for the 49 people massacred a year ago at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The memory of their loss loomed greatly in the minds of many of Sunday’s marchers. Known as the Orlando 49, they were among the partygoers at Pulse who, along with more than 50 others, were shot in an attack by a lone shooter.

The Pride March began in 1970 as an expression of pride, and has now become a major annual civil rights demonstration for a group of people inclusive of color, gender and various ethnic groups from around the world.

Queens elected officials were seen everywhere, Governor Cuomo, who grew up in Queens, in the lead. Other elected officials from Queens included NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm. US Senator Charles Schumer was also present.

Hundreds of Queens residents were seen at the march, many as marchers and others as spectators. A few Queens residents stopped to speak with the Gazette.Guests at the 2017 LGBT Pride Reception given by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray’s at Gracie Mansion.Guests at the 2017 LGBT Pride Reception given by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray’s at Gracie Mansion.

The march began on E. 36th Street and 5th Avenue, and headed south to the East Village. It ended near the Stonewall monument, in memory of the Stonewall riots in the 1970s that erupted at a local drinking establishment frequented by members of the New York City gay community. Back then it was unacceptable for two men or two women to hold hands or show romantic affection publicly. Now it is more commonplace with the advent of the Equality Act allowing same sex marriages and unions.

It is estimated that more than 40,000 marchers participated on Sunday, with countless thousands lining Fifth Avenue, taking in the sight of multi-colored banners, floating balloons, colorful floats, and marchers as they danced, marched, jumped, biked, stilt walked, roller bladed, hula-hooped, and just plain walked down Fifth Avenue, in a spectacular demonstration of Gay Pride. The spectators cheered, screamed, sang along to music, danced, laughed and cried during the six-hour extravaganza.

The American Federation of Teachers President, Randy Weingarten, joined in on the excitement of the day. She was marching with her wife, Sharon Kleinbaum, the Rabbi of their LGBT Jewish congregation.

Both the New York City and State Comptrollers participated in Sunday’s events as well. City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer marched with his family and staff, and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, marched with his staff as well. Comptroller DiNapoli also marched in the Long Island Pride Parade two weeks ago in Long Beach. He has been an active supporter of the LGBT community for many years.

Days before, on Thursday, June 22, Mayor Bill de Blasio held a reception for Pride Month at Gracie Mansion. He and his wife, Chirlane McCray, along with members of the New York City LGBT community, commented on the importance of fighting for LGBT rights. The reception also honored actress Laverne Cox, from the popular Netflix show, “Orange is the New Black,” for her work in the community.

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