Heritage of Pride (HOP), the Reclaim Pride Coalition, and the NYC Dyke March all have weekend events planned to mark the end of Pride month.
Before the weekend heats up, a virtual edition of the Pride Rally will take place at 6 p.m. on June 25 on HOP’s Facebook and YouTube channels. The event is free and will be hosted by Hope Giselle and Brandon Wolf.
On June 26, the NYC Dyke March is returning for their annual march that will kick off at 5 p.m. at Bryant Park on the southwest corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. The march, which will be under the theme “Black Dyke Power,” will travel south along Fifth Avenue and conclude at Washington Square Park.
“In the fight for Queer and Trans liberation, the contributions of people of color have been systematically minimized and ignored,” the organizers wrote in a press release. “Since the inception of the Dyke March, dykes of color, especially Black dykes, have played an essential role in organizing. The hard work and dedication that dykes of color have contributed every year to ensure that thousands of dykes can express their First Amendment right to protest should be acknowledged and celebrated.”
While the Reclaim Pride Coalition’s Queer Liberation March is the main in-person demonstration planned on June 27, HOP — which usually draws millions of people in normal years — will air a virtual march on ABC-7 from noon to 3 p.m. HOP’s virtual march and other activities comes a month after organizers announced a controversial ban on in-uniform police contingents from Pride. NYPD officers will still be on hand to police the event.
Those who plan to join in the Queer Liberation March will gather at Bryant Park at 2:30 p.m. and step off at 3 p.m. From Bryant Park, the march will head west on 41st Street and turn south on Seventh Avenue before shifting east at Sheridan Square. The march was originally slated to conclude with a rally at Washington Square Park, but the rally has been scrapped.
The Queer Liberation March and the Dyke March are held without permits and do not have corporate sponsors. Organizers of the Queer Liberation March, which started in 2019 and formed in response to the corporate and police presence at HOP’s annual march, have warned police against appearing at their events.
“Do not come near the Queer Liberation March this year,” Jay W. Walker, an organizer from the Reclaim Pride Coalition, said to a crowd at Christopher Park on June 3. “You do not keep us safe. You cause violence every time you show up.”
Among HOP’s other events include PrideFest, an annual LGBTQ street fair on June 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fourth Avenue between 13th and Ninth Street in Greenwich Village. Several organizations and queer-owned businesses will be showcased and there will be a food fest and COVID-19 vaccination sites. Plus, DJs Coco and Breezy, Papi Juice, and artist Stass THEE Boss are performing sets during the event. Attendees can also view LGBTQ vendors virtually through the online Marketfest.
After the ABC-7 broadcast, there will be a virtual program featuring the six grand marshals streaming on HOP’s Facebook and YouTube beginning at 3 p.m. Grand marshals include “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Noah’s Arc” actor Wilson Cruz; Ceyenne Doroshow, a performer and founder of GLITS, an LGBTQ grassroots organization; Menaka Guruswamy, a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India; lawyer Arundhati Katju; Demetre Daskalakis, who is the director of the Center for Disease Control’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and previously worked in the New York City Health Department; and Aaron Rose Philip, a model who has snagged major fashion campaigns in Moschino, Sephora, Marc Jacobs, and Calvin Klein.
“This year’s grand marshals are the embodiment of the theme for NYC Pride 2021, ‘The Fight Continues,’” Bansri Manek, director of the Heritage of Pride March, said in a written statement. “Their dedication to the continued fight has created a better future for individuals throughout the LGBTQIA+ community, and the bold courage they’ve demonstrated sends a clear message to the leaders of future generations about the importance of fighting for what you believe in.”
That evening, organizers are launching a watch party at Pride Island, where attendees can book a spot at the Greens for a socially distanced gathering at Pier 17. During the event, guests can catch performances from drag queen Nicky Doll and DJ Joe Gauthreaux.