Pride Month kicks off in NYC, but ‘full-fledged march will not be possible,’ organizer says

Local News

WEST VILLAGE, Manhattan — Rainbow flags once again lined Christopher Park, the home of the Stonewall National Monument in Manhattan, as Pride Month began on Tuesday.

Volunteers spent several hours attaching the flags to the iron fence in the West Village.

“It’s a labor of love for the community,” New Yorker Christopher Hardwick said.

Steven Love Menendez started the flag tradition five years ago. 

“This year is the first year we are incorporating the progress flag … which has extra representation for the trans and Black and brown communities,” Menendez said.

While this month is about pride, togetherness, and love, it hasn’t been spared from controversy. 

NYC Pride, which runs the annual Pride March, announced in May that it didn’t want the NYPD to participate.

“Not as exhibitors, as of right now, and we are working with a private security company to reduce police presence,” NYC Pride interim executive director David Correa said.

Correa acknowledged the community’s feelings about police are complicated and reactions to the decision have been mixed. 

Pride Month began as a tribute to the 1969 Stonewall riots that occurred after police raided the Stonewall Inn, located across from Christopher Park.

The theme of the 2021 Pride March on June 27 is “The Fight Continues.” However, due to the pandemic, Correa said the event will be limited. 

“A full-fledged march will not be possible this year, but we will be working on Pride Fest, which is our street festival. We have Pride Island which is our music series,” Correa said.

The Queer Liberation March, which began in 2019, also has its own event on the same day.

“We are not a parade. We’re a march. We are a political march,” organizer Jay W. Walker said. 

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