Gay pride month has always been in June in order to commemorate the Stonewall Riots.
On June 28, 1969, there was a police raid conducted at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in New York City. At the time, it was common for officials to target LGBT clubs and the community got fed up. That night, they fought back.
After the riot was halted by New York City police, demonstrations sprung up all around the city. The entire event was instrumental in the formation of many LGBT organizations, including the Gay Liberation Front.
On the heels of the terrifying Pulse shooting that occurred in Orlando, fear has infected the LGBT community.
Despite that, pride month has continued – defiant in the face of tragedy, hate, and terror. On Sunday, New York City, and several other areas, intend to hold their gay pride parades. Rain or shine, with or without fear, the parades will occur and LGBT pride will be celebrated.
Last year, the New York City gay pride parade boasted 20,000 participants and more than 2.5 million spectators. That parade happened on the heels of the legalization of gay marriage. Following the significant tragedy of the Pulse shooting, even more people are expected to turn up at this year’s celebration.
“This year is definitely going to be a lot more significant, a lot more important,” Julian Sanjivan, the New York City Pride March Director, told AM New York. “It’s painful, but at the same time, we want to show it’s all about love, it’s all about equality. We’re not going to cave to fear.”
The people attending in order to show their support for the community will be able to find Barbara Pome, the owner of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, and Neema Bahrami, the Entertainment Manager of Pulse, featured as honored guests upon the first float in the parade.
The airfare from Orlando to New York City for the pair was paid for by Delta Air Lines, the sponsor and official airline associated with New York City Pride.
After the parade, the Pulse pair will be speaking at the PrideFest Street Festival on Hudson Street.
A great deal of the New York City pride parade will be dedicated toward those affected by the Pulse tragedy, but there will also be moments dedicated toward those in the LGBT community affected by AIDS, suicide, and hate crimes. At 11:58 a.m., the people running the event will be calling for a moment of silence to honor those lost to hatred or disease.
Officials in New York City are not the same as they were 50 years ago when the Stonewall Riots occurred. In this new generation of acceptance, the police department has many openly gay officers and have passed rules demanding that officers refer to victims/suspects by their preferred gender.
At a news conference held on Thursday, several gay officers stood in the front and showed off a New York Police Department issued car that had been decorated with rainbow colors.
“Come out, show your pride, show that this is a city for everyone,” New York City mayor Bill de Blasio told the crowd, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The chairman of the New York City pride parade committee also asked for the LGBT community to stand up to their fears in order to celebrate their pride.
“Many of us started in closets and the last thing any of us should do is to go back into them.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio explained that everyone who attended would be safe.
The New York City police commissioner, William Bratton, explained that there would be a record number of police present during the gay pride parade this year.
According to the New York Times, the NYPD will have officers at the parade in both uniform and plain clothes. There will also be officers posted along the rooftops that surround the parade route and in boats along the Hudson River.
For people interested in going to the New York Pride Parade, either to celebrate their sexuality or to support the community, you will be able to attend anywhere along the parade route, starting at 36th street and 5th avenue and ending at the cross street of Christopher and Bleecker. The parade starts at noon.
— Selina Leavitt (@angelicardour) June 26, 2016
[Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images]