New York celebrates annual Gay Pride Parade

Jun 26, 2017, 08:48 IST | IANS

Tens of thousands of people with rainbow banners, posters and fancy costumes, marched in the gay pride parade here

People celebrate the 48th annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade in Chicago. Pic/AFP
People celebrate the 48th annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade in Chicago. Pic/AFP

Tens of thousands of people with rainbow banners, posters and fancy costumes, marched in the gay pride parade here. New York city that has raised awareness for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for now 48 years.

Grand marshals for the NYC Pride 2017 include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its New York office (NYCLU); Brooke Guinan, the first transgender women in the NYC fire department; Krishna Stone, an HIV/AIDS activist; and Geng Le, a gay rights activist from China.

"It's shifting focus to what Pride Parade in New York should be," Brandon Holmes, an event organizer from NYCLU, told Efe news on Sunday.

According to Holmes, to organise such an event is to recognise the field work of those countless unnamed people who supported not only changes in policy but also in culture, and in how people see the problems of the LGBT community.

Some road crossings around Greenwich Village, the flagship neighbourhood of the LGBT community, were painted in colors so that the march participants would cross the rainbow if they wanted to approach the Stonewall Inn, a bar where the story of the LGBT March in New York began.

In 1969, hundreds of people, shouting "gay power", protested against police raids aimed at homosexuals in this bar, which was later declared a historic monument. The uprising lasted six days, opening the door to the movement for LGBT rights in the community.

On the first anniversary of the Stonewall incident, a civil rights demonstration was held in the same neighbourhood, an event which later became the current NYC Gay Pride, now considered one of the largest LGBT events in the world.

Participants in this year's march were families with children, old and young couples, groups of friends or individuals, who whether or not they belonged to the LGBT community, declared themselves openly proud to support the equality of rights.

"'I love Pride, everyone shows love and it's wonderful," said Kima, a girl who boasted of spending nine years with her girlfriend, Rayshan, and having attended the event from the beginning of their relationship.

Another young woman, Tay, said the best thing about the event is the feeling of freedom, adding that on this day everyone can be free, happy and enjoy love.

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