LGBTQ folks and allies waved Rainbow Flags, marched together, and recognized the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots during the 19th annual Jersey City Pride festival on August 25.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in August, folks marched along Newark Avenue between Grove Street and Jersey Avenue before enjoying the entertainment stages, vendor booths, and food options lining the city’s streets.
The slate of entertainment featured burlesque performer and singer Lillian Bustle, who served as emcee, along with Allegra Spread, Aaliyah Martinez, and DJ Chauncey D.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Rainbow Flag in hand, greeted locals and stepped on stage to vow his support for LGBTQ issues and stand against the bigoted rhetoric and policies stemming from the White House.
“We rise and fall as one family in New Jersey, and in the center of our family is the LGBTQ community,” Murphy said before slamming President Donald Trump for his continuous string of actions targeting queer Americans, which include efforts to give employers the ability to discriminate against workers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“What he is doing to the community and so many communities, but in particular this community, day in and day out — the hostility, the us versus them, the anger, the real policies that are coming down from Washington — the struggle is far from over,” he added. “I know you know that, but I want you to know that I know that.”
The commemoration of Stonewall 50 marked an opportunity for Jersey City residents to honor the activism that occurred just across the Hudson River in Manhattan five decades ago. In that same spirit of LGBTQ history, there was a visible art display honoring LGBTQ icons of the past and present, from Marsha P. Johnson — who was from nearby Elizabeth, New Jersey — and Sylvia Rivera to Billy Porter and Ellen DeGeneres.
“To the brothers and sisters who came before us… The pioneers in the LGBTQ+ community deserve our never-ending respect for their courage, their passion, their leadership,” Murphy added.