Heritage of Pride (HOP) and other groups have planned virtual events and the Reclaim Pride Coalition’s Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality will be held in person on June 28 to wrap up the final weekend of Pride month in New York City.
HOP’s long weekend of events, moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic, will begin on June 25 with an all-day conference centered on human rights. The conference, which will kick off at 9:30 a.m. and last until 6:30 p.m., will center on activism and issues in the community and feature educators, journalists, policymakers, students, activists, artists, and others who are involved in human rights work.
The free conference will stream live on HOP’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Registration is still open.
Schedule includes NYC Pride festivities, Queer Liberation March for Black Lives
On that same evening, there will be a virtual “She’s a Riot” rally, march, and dance — the event benefits the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and is not listed as a HOP event — featuring a range of LGBTQ celebrities inluding Billy Porter and MJ Rodriguez. Ashlee Marie Preston will host and moderate the rally. Tickets begin at $15.
Another virtual event on June 25, this one produced by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, which eventually became known into the city’s annual Pride march. This free virtual event will be held via Zoom on June 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and looks back at the instrumental role that organizers such as Craig Rodwell played in putting together the first march.
The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project’s directors, Andrew Scott Dolkart, Jay Shockley, and Ken Lustbader will facilitate a virtual presentation and celebration. Those who wish to attend are asked to check in at 6:25 ahead of the 6:30 event start time.
HOP will also host an NYC Pride Rally of its own on Friday, June 26, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook. Preston will also be hosting that event, along with transgender actor Brian Michael Smith.
Speakers for that event include Ceyenne Doroshow, Annie Segarra, Edafe Okporo, and Leandro E. Rodriguez Ramos, while GLAAD and the National LGBTQ Task Force will use that opportunity to convey the importance of queer participation in the census.
Virtual events are also on tap for Saturday, June 27. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and New York Live Arts are partnering up for a special live online Pride celebration called “The House Party With Everybody,” which will help raise funds for the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, GRIOT Circle, and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts. The event will feature multiple artists and collectives performing drag, dance, song, storytelling, video collages, and more.
The event will be hosted by Andre J, The Dauphine of Bushwick, and Raja Feather Kelly, while participating artists will include Bill T. Jones, queer performance artist Migguel Anggelo, electro-funk duo The Illustrious Blacks, Untitled Queen for Bubble_T, the all-female sound system Gyal Tings, and Overall Mother Summer LaBeija and Gulf Coast Mother Coco LaBeija for the House of LaBeija. The event will stream on livestream.com and can also be found via BAM.org and NewYorkLiveArts.org.
At noon on Sunday, June 28, HOP’s main Pride march will be replaced with a two-hour program aired on ABC7, the same station that usually airs the annual Pride march in normal times. The event will feature grand marshals Dan Levy, creator of “Schitt’s Creek,” Yanzi Peng, a Chinese LGBTQ activist, and Victoria Cruz, a retired domestic violence counselor at the Anti-Violence Project. The LGBTQ homeless youth organization Ali Forney Center, originally planned as a grand marshal, has relinquished its role to Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. Janelle Monáe, Deborah Cox, Billy Porter, Luísa Sonza, and others will also be performing. Wilson Cruz, Miss Richfield 1981, and Margaret Cho will be making appearances.
On Sunday, Reclaim Pride’s Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality will step off at 1 p.m. at Foley Square. Reclaim Pride, which held its first march on Pride Sunday last year, is calling for a 50 percent reduction in the NYPD’s budget as well as a 50 percent cut in the police force, and instead redirect those funds into housing, healthcare, education, and reparative and transformative justice for Black communities.
“We’re horrified by the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Layleen Polanco, Rayshard Brooks and untold numbers of others,” Reclaim Pride’s Francesca Barjon said in a written statement. “And we’re mourning the endless violent deaths of Black trans women and men like Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fells and Riah Milton. So, inspired by the historic, Black-led protest movement that has taken to the streets here in NYC and across the world, Reclaim Pride supports demands for immediate defunding, disarming, and dismantling of police forces. We need a radically different system rooted in justice and community.”
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