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Bisexual beauty queen banned from St. Patty’s parade in New York

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Miss Staten Island Madison L’Insalata (Image via Instagram)

A New York borough has banned a beauty pageant queen from participating in its annual St. Patrick’s Day after she came out as bisexual.

Miss Staten Island Madison L’Insalata came out in an interview with the New York Post on Saturday, prompting parade organizer Larry Cummings to alert the pageant director that the 23-year-old would be banned from the event, which was held Sunday morning, due to “safety” concerns, the paper reported.

Staten Island organizers, along with those in other boroughs throughout the city, have a long history of rejecting LGBTQ participation in their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration; years of controversy over the discriminatory policy have resulted in the gradual lifting of similar bans across the city. Following the end of the New York City parade’s ban in 2014, Staten Island became the last borough to still deny LGBTQ participants.

In addition to L’Insalata, the parade also banned Miss Richmond County’s Outstanding Teen, 17-year-old Victoria Montouri; and according to the director of the Pride Center of Staten Island, organizers told her they would not allow gay groups when she attempted to sign up for participation.

Also absent from the parade were Miss Staten Island’s Outstanding Teen Angelica Mroczek and Miss Richmond County Gabrielle Ryan, who boycotted the event because of its restriction on LGBT+ people. In addition, several local officials boycotted this year’s parade, calling for more inclusion in future festivities.

L’Insalata said the decision to ban her from the parade was “definitely a curveball.”

“I was really looking forward to being there and having a discussion and now there won’t be,” she told interviewers. “It’s sad this had to happen. I thought I was doing something good … You want to be part of the change.”

Still, the 23-year-old beauty queen showed up anyway, to watch from the sidelines and represent for the LGBTQ community – even if it was only from behind a metal barrier with the rest of the crowd.

“I still wanted to march because I felt I could make a much greater impact being in the parade, waving my rainbow flag,” she told the Post at the event on Sunday, where she sported a rainbow scarf and heart rainbow pin while holding up a small multicolored flag.

The Staten Island parade is one of dozens of St. Patrick’s Day events held throughout the city each year as New Yorkers celebrate Irish heritage and recognize the patron saint of both Ireland and the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. The Manhattan parade, which takes place on St. Patrick’s Day itself, March 17, is the largest of these, drawing approximately 150,000 marchers and two million spectators.

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PHOTOS: Virginia Pridefest

Richmond LGBTQ celebration held on Brown’s Island

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2022 Virginia Pridefest (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2022 Virginia Pridefest was held on Brown’s Island in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, Sept. 24.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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PHOTOS: SMYAL Fall Brunch

25th annual event raises money for LGBTQ youth services

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The Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. was honored at the 2022 SMYAL Fall Brunch at the Marriott Marquis on Saturday, Sept. 24. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 25th annual SMYAL Fall Brunch was held at the Marriott Marquis on Saturday, Sept. 24. SMYAL, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, is a D.C.-area LGBTQ youth services organization.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Music & Concerts

DC Different Drummers Jazz Band to perform ‘Oasis’

Performance by combo ‘2nd Independence’ scheduled

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The DC Different Drummers Jazz Band will perform on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Central Library.

This concert, titled “The Oasis,” will feature the 20-person big band playing jazz pieces in a variety of styles, from swing to bossa nova to jazz fusion and more. There will also be a performance from the improvisational jazz combo, 2nd Independence.

Admission is free and more details are available on the event’s website

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