New York City LGBT Pride March
|New York City LGBT Pride March|
The annual New York City LGBT Pride March, or New York City Pride March, traverses southward down Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan. The New York City Pride March rivals the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade and the Madrid Pride as the largest pride parade in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June. The March passes by the site of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, location of the June 1969 Stonewall riots that launched the modern Gay Rights Movement. The March, along with The Rally, PrideFest, and Pride Island are the main annual events organized by NYC Pride. Since 1984, the volunteers of the non-profit Heritage of Pride (HOP) have produced these events for New York City, supported in earlier days by limited staff.
As of 2017, plans were advancing by the State of New York to host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019, known as Stonewall 50 / WorldPride, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In New York City, the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events produced by Heritage of Pride will be enhanced through a partnership made with the I LOVE NY program's LGBT division and shall include a welcome center during the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events that is open to all. Additional commemorative arts, cultural, and educational programing to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn will be taking place throughout the city and the world; it is believed that 2019 will be the largest international LGBT pride celebration held in history.
Early on the morning of Saturday, 28 June 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people rioted, following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar at 53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan. This riot and further protests and rioting over the following nights were the watershed moment in the modern LGBT rights movement and the impetus for organizing LGBT pride marches on a much larger scale.
On November 2, 1969, Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes proposed the first pride march to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) meeting in Philadelphia.
"That the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged-that of our fundamental human rights-be moved both in time and location.
We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration.
All attendees to the ERCHO meeting in Philadelphia voted for the march except for Mattachine Society of New York, which abstained. Members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) attended the meeting and were seated as guests of Rodwell's group, Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN).
Meetings to organize the march began in early January at Rodwell's apartment in 350 Bleecker Street. At first there was difficulty getting some of the major New York City organizations like Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) to send representatives. Craig Rodwell and his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Michael Brown, Marty Nixon, and Foster Gunnison of Mattachine made up the core group of the CSLD Umbrella Committee (CSLDUC). For initial funding, Gunnison served as treasurer and sought donations from the national homophile organizations and sponsors, while Sargeant solicited donations via the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop customer mailing list and Nixon worked to gain financial support from GLF in his position as treasurer for that organization. Other mainstays of the organizing committee were Judy Miller, Jack Waluska, Steve Gerrie and Brenda Howard of GLF. Believing that more people would turn out for the march on a Sunday, and so as to mark the date of the start of the Stonewall uprising, the committee scheduled the date for the first march for Sunday, June 28, 1970. With Dick Leitsch's replacement as president of Mattachine NY by "Michael Kotis" in April, 1970, opposition to the march by Mattachine ended.
Brenda Howard is known as the "Mother of Pride" for her work in coordinating the march. Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day, which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June. Additionally, Howard along with fellow LGBT activists Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker are credited with popularizing the word "Pride" to describe these festivities. As LGBT rights activist Tom Limoncelli put it, "The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why [LGBT] Pride Month is June tell them 'A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'" 
Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street and the first LGBT Pride march in U.S. history, covering the 51 blocks to Central Park. The march took less than half the scheduled time due to enthusiasm but also due to wariness about walking through the city with gay banners and signs. Although the parade permit was delivered only two hours before the start of the march, the marchers encountered little resistance from onlookers. The New York Times reported (on the front page) that the marchers took up the entire street for about 15 city blocks. Reporting by The Village Voice was positive, describing "the out-front resistance that grew out of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn one year ago".
In 2015, J. Christopher Neal became the first openly bisexual New York City LGBT Pride March Grand Marshal.
After many years where NY1 broadcast the March locally, in 2017 WABC-TV broadcast it live for the first time regionally and has made the stream available in all parts of the world where such content is accessible.
Heritage of Pride
The parade's organizer, Heritage of Pride (HOP), is a wholly volunteer-managed, non-partisan, tax-exempt, non-profit organization that organizes LGBT pride events in New York City to commemorate the Stonewall riots. HOP is one of the few LGBT organizations that is run at the grass-roots level. HOP welcomes the participation of all, regardless of age, creed, gender, gender identification, HIV status, national origin, physical, mental or developmental ability, race, or religion.
Grand Marshals of the NYC LGBT Pride March
- The American Civil Liberties Union.
- Brooke Guinan, the first openly transgender firefighter for FDNY.
- Krishna Stone, activist with Gay Men's Health Crisis.
- Geng Le, Chinese LGBT rights leader and founder of Blued.
- Jazz Jennings
- Subhi Nahas - a Syrian refugee who co-founded the first LGBT magazine in Syria.
- Cecilia Chung
- Ian McKellen
- Derek Jacobi
- Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera
- J. Christopher Neal - the first openly bisexual NYC LGBT Pride March Grand Marshal.
- Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in United States v. Windsor, which resulted in Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act being struck down
- Earl Fowlkes
- Harry Belafonte
- Cyndi Lauper
- Chris Salgardo, CEO of Kiel's Since 1851.
- Connie Kopelov & Phyllis Siegel, New York City's first legally married same-sex couple.
- Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller, It Gets Better Project.
- Rev. Pat Bumgardner of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York.
- Imperial Court of New York LGBT organization.
2009 - Stonewall 40
2009 marked the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. Accordingly, HOP in conjunction with NYC local government promoted the event for people from around the world to attend. Grand Marshals that year were:
- Gilbert Baker
- Candice Cayne
- New York Governor David A. Paterson
- New York Senator Charles Schumer
- NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg
- Ariana Grande
- Azealia Banks
- Bette Midler
- Beverly McClellan
- Candis Cayne
- Cyndi Lauper
- Deborah Cooper
- Deborah Cox
- Demi Lovato
- Eva Simons
- Grace Jones
- Idina Menzel
- Janet Jackson
- Jennifer Holliday
- Jennifer Hudson
- Jennifer Lopez
- Kat Graham
- Kylie Minogue
- Lady Gaga
- Lil' Kim
- Liza Minnelli
- Loleatta Holloway
- Manila Luzon
- Natasha Bedingfield
- Offer Nissim
- Peter Rauhofer
- Robin S.
- Rosie O'Donnell
- Sabrina Johnston
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor
- The Weather Girls
- Whitney Houston
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Julia Goicichea (August 16, 2017). "Why New York City Is a Major Destination for LGBT Travelers". The Culture Trip. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- Eli Rosenberg (June 24, 2016). "Stonewall Inn Named National Monument, a First for the Gay Rights Movement". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- "Workforce Diversity The Stonewall Inn, National Historic Landmark National Register Number: 99000562". National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- "Revelers Take To The Streets For 48th Annual NYC Pride March". CBS New York. June 25, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
A sea of rainbows took over the Big Apple for the biggest pride parade in the world Sunday.
- Dawn Ennis (May 24, 2017). "ABC will broadcast New York's pride parade live for the first time". LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
Never before has any TV station in the entertainment and news media capital of the world carried what organizer boast is the world’s largest Pride parade live on TV.
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- Celebrating Gay Pride and Its Albany Friend
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