NEW YORK — Upwards of four million people lined the streets of Manhattan on Sunday for the WorldPride parade.
The parade began at noon at 26th Street and Fifth Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood. It ended more than 12 hours later.
The Gay Liberation Front, the cast of “Pose”, UK Black Pride co-founder Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and the Trevor Project were grand marshals of the parade alongside Monica Helms, a transgender activist who created the trans Pride flag. Parade organizers said 150,000 people marched with myriad groups that include OutRight Action International, Capital Pride and the Human Rights Campaign.
“It’s beyond fantastic,” Helms told reporters during a press conference at the Empire State Building before the parade began.
The parade took place two days after the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which began on June 28, 1969.
LGBTQ Victory Institute President Annise Parker on Friday evoked Stonewall when she announced at an event in Brooklyn’s East Williamsburg neighborhood that her organization endorsed Pete Buttigieg for president.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday signed a bill that bans the use of so-called gay and trans “panic” defenses in court in his state. An estimated 45,000 people participated in the Queer Liberation March that also took place in Manhattan on Sunday.
Jay, who taught English and women’s studies at Pace University from 1974-2009, witnessed the Stonewall riots.
She told reporters at the Empire State Building that “every kind of person was in the Gay Liberation Front and welcomed.” Jay spoke alongside Mark Segal, the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News who participated in the Stonewall riots.
“We stood up,” said Jay, speaking about Stonewall’s impact on the LGBT rights movement. “We changed the press. We changed everything.”
“We organized,” she added.
The Washington Blade will update this story and provide additional reporting on the WorldPride parade and the Queer Liberation March.