The NYC Pride March will return in person on June 26, marking the first in-person march organizers have held since 2019.
That year, New York hosted WorldPride in tandem with the march. Organizers say it attracted an estimated 5 million people to the city.
This year’s theme is “Unapologetically Us.”
What You Need To Know
- The NYC Pride March began as a response to the Stonewall uprising. The first march was in 1970
- From January to April of this year, hate crimes based on sexual orientation in the city rose 64%
- LGBT rights advocates say elected leaders are pushing anti-gay and anti-trans bills, which makes visibility important
“'Unapologetically Us,' for a lot of us here at NYC Pride, is about not going back into the shadows," said NYC Pride Executive Director Sandra Perez. "There’s a lot of anti-gay, anti-trans crime directed at our community."
“The march was a response to the Stonewall uprising," Perez added. "There is a lot to celebrate, but there’s still a lot of work to do."
The Stonewall uprising was in response to police raids of gay bars, when holding hands, kissing or dancing with someone of the same sex in public was still illegal.
That watershed moment for the gay civil rights movement led to New York’s first march in 1970.
David Scott said he came out in high school in 1964.
“I was at Stonewall originally. No one is going to believe that, but I was," Scott said. "I saw the police arrive, and the first one I walked in, marched in, was 1971."
Scott said he and his partner understand what it’s like to live life “unapologetically.”
“It wasn’t easy at first. We had stuff thrown at us in 1972, but here we are, we’re still together, and it can be done,” Scott said.
Scott said he’s still worried about homophobia in the city and across the country.
From January to April of this year, hate crimes based on sexual orientation in the city were up.
NYPD statistics show incidents rose 64% compared to the same time period in 2021. And across the country, gay rights advocates say elected leaders are pushing anti-gay and anti-trans bills, something Perez said is why visibility is important.
Through activism and celebration, Perez said the march helps people know where their community came from, and how far it still has to go.
“We’re here. We don’t need to apologize for living our truth," Perez said. "And we are looking for and expect no less than human rights."
The march is still searching for organizers. To apply, go to the NYC Pride website.