Hudson Yards, N.Y. (PIX11) — It was a packed, sold-out, standing-room-only concert at Hudson Yards with some big names performing. The theme of this year’s New York City pride weekend is strength in solidarity.
An estimated crowd of 5,000 attended the free concert called Pride Live, Stonewall Day at Hudson Yards. The headliner was Christina Aguilera, and the host was transgender rights activist Angelica Ross.
“Our trans youth of color are the most vulnerable,” Ross told the crowd. “But you cannot ban queer joy,” she added.
This concert was a fundraiser for the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center. Concert organizers are hoping to open it next June on the 55th anniversary of the 1969 uprising at Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn. To many, the Stonewall is the birthplace of the gay rights movement.
“I’m queer all year,” David Correa, the Executive Producer of Pride Live, told PIX11 News. “So it’s really important to have events like this not just because we’re commemorating what happened but also a celebration for our community is protest,” he added.
To many in this crowd, there is deep concern about growing hate speech and new restrictions that many see as threatening the LGBTQ community. Among those speaking out was Chelsea Clinton.
“If you are not speaking out against book bans if you are not speaking for trans children, then we need you to be better allies,” Clinton, a Stonewall Ambassador, told the crowd. Those in the crowd said it is important to show up for events like this.
“I am glad to be here,” Denise Tillman, an audience member told PIX11 News. “I am glad that we are still able to celebrate at this time,” she added.
Mike Kontomanolis, another audience member originally from Florida, added: “Things like this are important to show to keep going forward, hopefully.”