NYC Gay Pride Week kicks off: ‘We have to remember the friends we lost last week’

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SOHO, Manhattan — It was the annual kickoff event of NYC pride week at the James Hotel celebrating business leaders who have made an impact on LGBT equality in the workplace.

There were also celebrities in the LGBT community like Edie Windsor whose Supreme Court case paved the way for same-sex marriage in this country.

But for everyone celebrating all that has been accomplished in the gay rights movement in recent years, there was also a sense of sadness and dread after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

"We have to remember the friends we lost last week," David Studinski, co-chair of NYC Pride, told PIX11. "We also have to remember the other members of the LGBT community lost to hate crimes and other acts of senseless violence."

With an entire week of gay pride activities now beginning and culminating in the parade next Sunday, there are few concerns about security because organizers say the NYPD is always providing a sense of safety.

But organizers welcome the debate about how to tighten gun safety laws.

"The LGBT community has a lot of opinion about gun control," James Fallarino, NYC Pride Media Director told PIX11. "And now, after Orlando, everyone is thinking about it more."

Senator Charles Schumer spoke about Monday's vote on what the New York Democrat calls common sense gun safety laws to close terror loopholes and expand background checks.

"If you can't fly, you can't buy," Sen. Schumer said at a news conference. "The second thing is universal background checks."

Here is a list of Pride Week activities in NYC:

  • Pride Luminaries Brunch, Sunday, June 19, The Garden at David Burke Kitchen at the James Hotel
  • Out Cinema, Monday, June 20, SVA Theatre
  • Family Movie Night, featuring Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story, Tuesday, June 21, Pier 63
  • The Rally, Friday, June 24, Pier 26
  • Fantasy, Friday, June 24, The Diamond Horseshoe
  • VIP Rooftop Party, Saturday, June 25, Hudson Terrace
  • Teaze, Saturday, June 25, Pier 26
  • WE Party “Graffiti”, Saturday, June 25, The Hammerstein Ballroom
  • The March, Sunday, June 26, 36th Street & 5th Avenue to Christopher & Greenwich Streets
  • PrideFest, Sunday, June 26, Hudson Street between West 14th Street and Abingdon Square
  • Dance on the Pier, Sunday, June 26, Pier 26
  • Femme Fatale, Sunday, June 26, Hudson Terrace