Deb Gordon spotlighted Pride Week with guest Chris Frederick, Managing Director of Heritage of Pride, which supports the LGBT community and organizes the many events that make up Pride week in New York, including the Pride March on Sunday, June 30. Mr. Frederick provided some background and history on Heritage of Pride, which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots that sparked the modern gay-rights movement.
Also discussed were the recent attacks on members of the gay community and the impact that will have on young people and others who are struggling with their sexual orientation, and also the events surrounding Pride Week. Mr. Frederick expressed the view that although some Pride participants would address that issue at the March, he felt that the Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage will be a main focus and determine the dialogue over the course of the week.
NYC Pride Weekend is the culmination of a variety of events that happened in all 5 boroughs during the month of June. It kicks off on June 28, and over 1 million people are expected to attend the Heritage of Pride events. The many events include a Rally at Pier 36; the 10th anniversary of Rapture on the River, the ladies only event; and the 27th annual Dance on the Pier featuring performances by Cher. The empire state building will be lit up in rainbow colors this year which is a change from the previous lavender color and will be instantly recognizable as a pride reference, and is also in keeping with the event theme, “Rain to Rainbows”. Mr. Frederick stated there would be a record number of floats at the March this year between and about 50 thousand people watching. He pointed out that the best place to view the floats depended on how each individual wants to experience the event and informed listeners that the less crowded route that offers the best site lines, is between by 34th to 23rd. Below that area, especially near Christopher street will be much more crowded, with the best energy that allows the marcher and viewer to feel more a part of the experience.
The March will have 3 Grand Marshalls this year: Earl Fowlkes leader of Black Pride in DC; Harry Belafonte a civil rights leader and LBGT advocate; and Edie Windsor, the woman behind the impactful case heard by the supreme court who is considered the spokesperson of the movement. There will be two moments of silence this year at 1pm and 3pm to remember the pioneers in the struggle, and the March’s heritage and legacy.
Mr. Frederick encouraged listeners, whether gay or straight, to come out and support their fellow New Yorkers, especially during this historic year. Heritage of Pride is a 501c3 non-profit and relies on donations from the community to produce their events, and also needs volunteers year round. For more information about the schedule of events, visit www.nycpride.org. You can follow Heritage of Pride on Twitter or on Facebook.
–Deb Gordon/Fresh 102.7
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