The Big Apple showed its pride as thousands marched through the streets Sunday.
The annual Pride March was once again made a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this was not apparent on the city streets which were alight with a litany of colorful Manhattan events showing LGBTQ+ pride.
Making Astor Place a safe space
First commencing in Astor Place at noon, hundreds of onlookers gathered before a freshly assembled stage to not only celebrate the Pride weekend, but to also recognize the activist pioneers who came before them, such as Marsha P. Johnson, and the infamous 1969 Stonewall riots that paved the way for the fight for equality.
“We are here to celebrate, we are here to uplift each other but we are here to also uplift the most oppressed group of people in our community — the black trans women,” one organizer of the Black Trans Liberation March said. “Black culture is pride.”
As chants rang out “Black trans lives matter,” the crowd parted so that individuals could show off their styles and personality in a makeshift runway show. After which, poets and musical performers dazzled attendees before setting off on a march.
Queer Liberation march draws thousands
Later that afternoon, Bryant Park saw a rainbow tidal wave of humanity, stretching from the steps of the lion guarded New York Public Library down to the bright streets of Times Square.
A kaleidoscope of colors on flags, scarves, hats, and more were held up high as were revelers paraded along the city streets chanting, “This is what community looks like.”
Jumping in the air, screaming, singing, and letting out a jubilant cry, those in attendance made sure New York City knew that they were proud. Thousands marched in a gathering that has not been seen since the early Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
While dozens of officers stood guard along Fifth Avenue, the true spectacle stemmed down Seventh Avenue, passing the Stonewall Inn and head into Washington Square Park.
While the grand march drew colorful similarities to the Pride March, it was very much a protest demanding Queer Liberation — the third-annual march — resisting against oppression and exploitation. In addition, this event made it clear that the NYPD were not wanted as they chanted, “F**K the 12,” and “No justice, no peace.”