New York City’s massive LGBTQ Pride March goes down Sunday as other cities, including San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle, host parades commemorating the 50th anniversary of the clash between police and gay bar patrons at Stonewall that sparked the modern gay rights movement.
NYC’s Pride March kicks off at noon Sunday with over 100 floats and 677 contingents including community groups, major corporations and cast members from FX’s hit series “Pose.”
Organizers say they expect 150,000 people to march, with hundreds of thousands more lining the streets to watch, and there’s expected to be a heavy police presence to keep the massive event safe.
“The LGBTQ community is an essential part of NYC,” New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill said at a news conference on Tuesday. “And during #PrideMonth2019, it’s the NYPD’s mission—as it is for every large event held in our great city throughout the year—to ensure that everyone can enjoy the festivities safely, free from violence & intolerance.”
The NYPD had provided a helpful map of the march’s longer-than-usual route, as well as all the street closures in the area.
A smaller Queer Liberation March is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. at the Stonewall Inn, the bar where patrons resisted a police raid in 1969, and will head to Central Park for a rally. The organizers of the queer march say the larger Pride event has become too commercialized and too heavily policed.
The Pride March concludes a month of Stonewall commemorations in New York that included rallies, parties, film showings and a human rights conference. The celebration coincides with WorldPride, an international LGBTQ event that started in Rome in 2000 and was held in New York this past week.
Other Pride events will take place Sunday around the U.S. and the world.
In San Francisco, a contingent of Google employees petitioned the Pride parade’s board of directors to revoke Google’s sponsorship over what they called harassment and hate speech directed at LGBTQ people on YouTube and other Google platforms.
San Francisco Pride declined to revoke Google’s sponsorship or remove the company from the parade, but Pride officials said the Google critics could protest the company’s policies as part of the parade’s “Resistance Contingent.”
In Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first openly gay mayor, will be one of seven grand marshals.