'Pose' Cast, Andy Cohen Among Stars in New York's Pride Parade
Sunday's event marked one of the largest in the history of the movement.
Exuberant crowds carrying rainbow colors filled New York City streets Sunday for one of the largest pride parades in the history of the gay-rights movement, a dazzling celebration of the 50th anniversary of the infamous police raid on the Stonewall Inn.
Marchers and onlookers took over much of midtown Manhattan with a procession that lasted hours and paid tribute to the uprising that began at the tavern when patrons resisted officers on June 28, 1969. The parade in New York and others like it across the nation concluded a month of events marking the anniversary.
Among the famous faces serving as grand marshals of the parade were Pose stars Dominique Jackson, MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore, along with staff and volunteers from The Trevor Project, which works to prevent suicide group among LGBTQ youth.
Happy Pride Sweeties! Thank you @CSiriano for this fabulous custom gown! Taste the rainbow!!! #pride Jewels by @OscarHeymanBros Style by @sammyratelle Glam by @LaSonyaGunter pic.twitter.com/jrn5HuXWj2— Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) July 1, 2019
Pride is EVERY DAY!! pic.twitter.com/dnEsBuOGwD— Dominique Jackson (@tyraaross) July 1, 2019
In addition, Bravo participated with a float led by Andy Cohen and featuring several network stars from the Real Housewives franchise and more.
Designer Donatella Versace rode on the Stonewall float.
Comedy Central hit the parade with a float for its Molly Shannon-starring comedy The Other Two.
Stars from the forthcoming The L Word: Generation Q and Queer Eye marched in the parade, which was made up of more than 100 floats. Madonna later closed out NYC Pride with a performance at Pride Island 2019, the annual queer pier dance in Manhattan in conjunction with New York City Pride.
Alyssa Christianson, 29, of New York City, was topless, wearing just sparkly pasties and boy shorts underwear. A Pride flag was tied around her neck like a cape. "I've been to the Pride parade before, but this is the first year I kind of wanted to dress up and get into it," she said.
Christianson said she was concerned that the movement could suffer setbacks during the Trump administration, which has moved to revoke newly won health care protections for transgender people, restrict their presence in the military and withdraw federal guidance that trans students should be able to use bathrooms of their choice.
"I'm definitely a little scared of how things are going, just the anger and violence that comes out of it and just the tone of conversation about it. We've come so far, especially in the last few decades, that I don't want to see that repressed in any way."
In May, Trump tweeted about Pride Month and praised the "outstanding contributions" of LGBT people. But his administration has also aligned with some religious conservatives in arguing that nondiscrimination protections for those same people can infringe on the religious beliefs of others who oppose same-sex marriage and transgender rights.
Earlier in the day, a crowd of about 2,000 people gathered outside the Stonewall Inn. At the Queer Liberation March near the bar, some participants said the larger Pride parade had become too commercialized and heavily policed.
"What's important to remember is that this is a protest against the monetization of the Pride parade, against the police brutality of our community, against the poor treatment of sections of our community, of black and brown folk, of immigrants," said Jake Seller, a 24-year-old Indiana native who now lives in Brooklyn and worked as one of the march's volunteers.
Protesters carried anti-Trump and queer liberation signs, chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!"
"We march for the liberation of our community so they can live and celebrate their identity. So they can reclaim it. This will always remain a protest, not an advertisement," Seller said.
The police presence at the march was heavy, with several officers posted at every corner. Metal barricades were erected along the entire parade route.
In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker chose the parade day to sign an executive order creating a task force to study the rights of transgender students. The task force will look at what schools are doing to promote LGBTQ rights to make sure students have "welcoming" and "inclusive" environments.
In Chicago's parade, the city's first openly gay mayor, Lori Lightfoot, was one of seven grand marshals. Lightfoot, who took office in May, walked alongside her wife and wore a "Chicago Proud" T-shirt with rainbow lettering. The couple held hands at times, drawing cheers from onlookers. The procession was cut short as thunderstorms rolled through the area, forcing police to cancel the event about three hours after it began.
The larger New York Pride parade had 677 contingents, including community groups and major corporations. Organizers expected at least 150,000 people to march, with hundreds of thousands more lining the streets to watch.
Other Stonewall commemorations in New York 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.
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 the 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."
See a few of the other famous faces showing their support below.
Happy Pride! Today’s the parade! I hope it was a great week! pic.twitter.com/ibzpQFA8Sn— Cyndi Lauper (@cyndilauper) June 30, 2019
Carrie: We a parade, especially a pride parade! pic.twitter.com/AHyD0ym7yJ— jiamian (@Jiamian63689578) June 30, 2019
In 1996 when my first love died in my arms at St. Vincent’s from Kaposi’s sarcoma, @gmhc was there. When I tested poz in 2002 GMHC was there. Full circle to ride with GMHC in the Pride parade this year at #WorldPride & #Stonewall50 @NYCPride pic.twitter.com/mZZtVzbIwZ— Javier Muñoz (@JMunozActor) June 30, 2019
Being in the World Pride parade was a sea of emotions. To witness older generations of the LGBTQ+ family cheering us on from the side lines. Waving their flags and beaming with pride, even if they came alone. Everyone shared such an immense pride in representing our community, past and present. It was a reminder that we all need to lead not only our generation but encourage and fight for our future generations. To make life a little bit better, a little bit safer, a little bit sweeter. Thank you for all of the hope you shared and let’s continue to make the world a brighter place. I love you with all of my heart. @whotels #WPrideWorldwide : @trevorfloresphoto
What a spectacular day. What a spectacular time. World Pride 2019 in NYC was an extraordinary experience, seeing literally millions of people spreading love and positivity. No conflict. No problems. Just love. So honored to share this with my husband @dbelicious and with our kids. Just an overwhelming outpouring of love. #grateful