My first time at NYC Pride and it was a whirlwind of activity with LGBTQ pride events for a full week, and plenty of parties, concerts, and new friends
I’ve been to a lot of gay and LGBTQ pride festivals around the world, but this year was my first time at the New York City Pride. It’s one of the world’s most important pride festivals because this is where it all began.
The Stonewall riots in 1969 are generally regarded as the launching point for the modern gay rights movement. There’s no denying the importance of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in the West Village. Still in operation today, the Inn and the small plaza in front are national monuments. And the NY Pride parade has marched right past every June since 1969.
I’ve been to the Stonewall Inn now a couple of times, never more than for a few drinks—and not for their legendary weekend parties. But during pride weekend, to see the Inn and the millions of people on the streets was really pretty special.
NYC Pride sees something close to two million participants and visitors. There are a variety of events in the few days leading up to the official pride parade on the Sunday, including the annual Dyke March (a non-commercial, unofficially organized march). My pride weekend in NYC was party-after-party. Maybe not the political demonstrations you might expect, but remember: it’s also important to celebrate.
I stumbled on this public event via the @whotels Twitter account. Hosted by one of today’s darling gay journalists, Philip Picardi (@pfpicardi), the event was a panel discussion on the meaning of pride with some truly interesting panelists: Wade Davis (the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant), Tyler Ford (an agender advocate and writer at them), Jim Halloran (from GLAAD), and Geena Rocero (a trans rights advocate and Marriott’s #LoveTravels ambassador). The W Hotels lounge in Times Square was decked out in pride decorations as part of the Marriott brand campaign they’ve run for a few years called #LoveTravels.
Mostly, the event was a way for the panelists to share some of their stories. The crowd was mostly a collection of their fans and friends, kind of a closed-off part of the community, but for me personally: I enjoyed the chance to see some of these important LGBTQ speakers in a personal and semi-intimate setting.