After a subdued 2020, this year's NYC Pride March and street festival are scheduled to take place Sunday -- with people taking to the streets of the Big Apple in celebration, although it won't be the grand scale of years pre-pandemic.
Every June, Pride Month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan — a “tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States,” according to the Library of Congress. Marsha P. Johnson, who died in 1992 at age 46, is considered a pioneer of the movement for the rights of transgender people, although the term transgender was not widely used during her lifetime.
Some witness accounts say Johnson was a leader of the Stonewall rebellion of 1969, when patrons of a Greenwich Village bar resisted a police raid and sparked the modern gay rights movement.
Following the raid, Johnson and others — including Sylvia Rivera, a Latinx gay and transgender rights activist who passed away in 2002— led a number of protests against the raid. A year later, the first Pride march took place.
NYC Pride's official theme for 2021 is “The Fight Continues,” to reflect on the adversity that the LGBTQIA+ community faces on many fronts.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s festivities include events and programming in-person and virtually. COVID-19 restrictions may vary by event so check with the organizer to be sure you know the details before you go.
Below are some of the scheduled events during the weekend. For the complete list of scheduled events and programs, click here.
NYC Pride 2021 | RALLY - Friday, June 25
Community activists, organizers, artists and more will gather for a historic virtual RALLY on Friday, June 25, from 6 p.m. on NYC Pride's Facebook and YouTube pages.
The virtual rally marks the 5-year anniversary of the Pulse Massacre in Florida. Not only will the rally honor the 49 victims of the tragedy, but those participating will hold poignant conversations demanding transformative reform to protect LGBTQIA+ community.
Admission is free.
WHEN: Friday, June 25, starting at 6 p.m.
WHERE: NYC Pride's Facebook and YouTube pages
'Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You' - Friday, June 25
“Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You" is an hour-long concert event, featuring Miley Cyrus with special guests, award-winning artists and LGBTQ+ allies, streaming only on Peacock.
(Peacock and NBC 4 New York are part of the NBCUniversal family.)
WHEN: Friday, June 25, at 8 p.m.
For more information, click here.
NYC Pride 2021 | Frontrunners Pride Run - Saturday, June 26
As New York City continues its reopening efforts, this year’s 40th Annual LGBT Pride Run is a hybrid event, with NYRR, offering an in-person 6K (capacity is limited), as well as a Virtual 5K -- allowing the race to be accessible to all.
Each year, a portion of race proceeds is donated to a beneficiary, and this year, FRNY has selected New Alternatives, a nonprofit focused on helping LGBT homeless youth transition out of the shelter system to stable adult lives.
The race is free for the Virtual 5K and tickets will start at $25 for the in-person 6K.
WHEN: Saturday, June 26, at 7 a.m.
WHERE: Central Park
For more information, click here.
NYC Pride 2021 | Youth Pride - Saturday, June 26
NYC Pride and LGBTQIA+ programs across the country unite to present a nationwide virtual experience of Youth Pride, a celebration of and for LGBTQIA+ and ally teens.
This year, NYC Pride has partnered with youth-focused LGBT centers, organizations, and programs nationwide. This program follows 2019’s event at which 10,000+ LGBTQIA+ teens came together for a day of performances, appearances, activations and dancing at Central Park’s Summerstage.
When 2020 made large gatherings impossible, NYC Pride reimagined how to safely provide the youth a crucially important sense of community and togetherness.
Through this virtual Saturday event, which kicks off at 3 p.m., young people everywhere will be able to celebrate NYC Pride with their friends through musical performances, LGBTQIA+ center spotlights, DJ's, and other segments.
Although, general admission is free and available for all, RSVP is encouraged in order to receive updates on details.
WHEN: Saturday, June 26, from 3 to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Virtual experience. Register here.
NYC Pride 2021 | PrideFest Street Fair - Sunday, June 27
The annual PrideFest Street Fair, which combines exhibitors, entertainers, food and activities attracting thousands of visitors, is back this year -- although on a smaller scale, due to the pandemic.
PrideFest will implement protocols that not only keep the street fair a space for all, but also a safe space in the wake of Covid-19. For those who aren't comfortable attending in person, the public can particiapte virtually at MarketFest. MarketFest is NYC Pride's FREE virtual Vendor Directory focused on amplifying LGBTQIA+ small businesses.
WHEN: Sunday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, click here.
NYC Pride 2021 | NYC Pride March - Sunday, June 27
Although the grand Pride March is on hold for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic, the street festival is taking place with performances scheduled on a smaller scale (see PrideFest Street Fair section above).
However, the NYC Pride March broadcast special will return for its fifth consecutive year and will feature live performances, on-air interviews, and exciting street-side marching activity.
Following the broadcast, a virtual experience of the March will begin online across streaming platforms. The virtual program will feature groups and organizations that would typically take to the streets for the annual NYC Pride March. Each segment will highlight one of this year’s Grand Marshals.
The Grand Marshals of this year's parade are:
- Wilson Cruz is an actor who currently stars as Dr. Hugh Culber on the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Discovery, which won a GLAAD award last year. He has appeared in a number of award-winning series and is the Executive Producer of "Visible: Out on Television" airing on Apple TV+. Wilson became the first openly gay actor playing an openly gay role on series television for his role as Rickie Vasquez on the 90's classic "My So Called Life."
- Ceyenne Doroshow: Doroshow is a performer, activist, organizer, community-based researcher and public figure in the trans and sex worker rights’ movements. Doroshow is the founder and executive director of G.L.I.T.S., which provides holistic care to LGBTQ sex workers, and serves on the board of various other organizations.
- Menaka Guruswamy is a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India who defended government legislation that mandates all private schools to admit disadvantaged children, and overturned section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized same-sex relations. Arundhati Katju is a lawyer practicing in Indian trial and appellate courts who successfully represented the lead petitioners in a case where the Court struck down India’s 157-year-old sodomy law.
- Dr. Demetre Daskalakis is recognized as an expert in HIV prevention and has focused much of his career on the prevention and treatment of HIV and other STIs as an activist physician with a focus on LGBTQIA+ communities.
- Aaron Rose Philip, a model from the Bronx, was discovered through her social media where she took notice of the lack of representation of trans women of color within the fashion industry, particularly those with a disability.
The show will stream on NYC Pride’s Facebook and Youtube on Sunday, June 27 beginning at 3 p.m.
Rounding out programming for this year’s NYC Pride March is the March Pop Ups -- helping to boost visibility for local business owners. As local businesses open up to indoor activities, NYC Pride will reimagine the typical Pride March Float experience by utilizing the outdoor seating areas of locally owned businesses in Manhattan. An interactive map will allow attendees to find the pop ups, and learn more about organizations that are participating.
WHEN: Sunday, June 27, at 12 p.m.
WHERE: Broadcast special, virtual experience, and pop ups
For more information on where to watch the broadcast of the NYC Pride March, click here.