The MTA is selling a limited number of themed MetroCards celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride at subway stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens this month.
50,000 MetroCards will be offered up bearing a design depicting a fictional station called Pride Street amid June’s Pride month celebration, the MTA says. The transit agency will also bedeck 50 subway cars on the 1, A, L, and 7 lines — plus 50 Long Island Rail Road and 50 Metro-North cars — with a heart-shaped decal bearing the Pride logo.
Digital screens throughout the system will also play messages in celebration of Pride Month.
“The MTA is committed to delivering the message of equality and love in celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month to riders and we’re proud to make that heard loud and clear across the metropolitan area,” said the MTA’s acting Chief Customer Officer, Shanifah Rieara, in a statement. “Customers across the MTA’s entire operating region will be able to celebrate all month long and feel welcome in public transit no matter where they live through signage, decals, posters, public events and so much more.”
Customers hoping to snag a Pride MetroCard can go to one of six stations across three boroughs:
- West 4th Street-Washington Square (A/B/C/D/E/F/M)
- 59th Street-Columbus Circle (A/B/C/D)
- Grand Street (L)
- 74th Street-Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave (E/F/M/R/7)
- 125th Street (A/B/C/D)
- Christopher Street-Sheridan Square (1)
The Christopher Street station bears particular notability in the city’s LGBTQ+ history, as the stop closest to the Stonewall Inn in the West Village.
Pride Month comes amid a more hostile national political environment for LGBTQ+ Americans than has been seen in years. Across the country, Republican lawmakers have passed or proposed a wave of homophobic and transphobic legislation, including restrictions or bans on gender-affirming care and drag performance.
Major companies have faced severe homophobic and transphobic backlash this year, often on the flimsiest of pretenses: Bud Light saw sales decline after hiring a trans influencer for a sponsored Instagram ad, and ultimately caved to pressure by saying “we never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.” More recently, Target removed some Pride-themed merchandise and other goods marketed towards the LGBTQ+ community after conservatives threatened to boycott the retail giant.
Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres, co-chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, said that with that backlash in mind, the MTA’s highly visible support of Pride is an important symbol of New York’s welcoming, inclusive attitude even as other locales declare themselves hostile to the LGBTQ+ community.
“The MTA’s Pride Month public engagement campaign sends an important message of inclusion and acceptance to the millions of New Yorkers and visitors who rely on the MTA each and every day,” said Torres. “As the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI+ community sadly continue to come under attack across the country, New York City stands proud as a welcoming place for all regardless of who you love or how you identify, and we unapologetically promote, protect, and celebrate the diversity and history of the LGBTQI+ community.”