Pride Month: LGBTQ+ celebrations end with NYC, San Francisco parades

NEW YORK (AP) — A month-long celebration LGBTQ+ Pride It came to a grand conclusion on Sunday, with rainbow-adorned celebrants taking to the streets for parades in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere around the world.

The wide-ranging festivities combined both exuberant parties and political protests, as participants recognized the benefits of community while also drawing attention to recent anti-LGBTQ+ laws passed by Republican-led states, such as restrictions on transgender health care.

A trans artist performs during the Gay Pride Parade marking the end of LGBTQ+ Pride month, in Asuncion, Paraguay, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

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People stand in front of the main stage during the Pride celebration at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco on Saturday, June 29, 2024. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

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San Francisco Drag Laureate Darcy Drollinger speaks onstage during the first day of the two-day Pride celebration at the Civic Center in San Francisco on Saturday, June 29, 2024. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

“We’re in a time when there’s a lot of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation,” said Zac Overton, 47, at the New York parade. “It feels like we’re taking a step backward in the fight for equality and so this is a great moment to come out with our community and see all the different shades of the spectrum of our community and remind ourselves what we’re all fighting for.”

Thousands gathered on New York’s Fifth Avenue to celebrate Pride. Floats roamed the streets as Diane Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” played over loudspeakers. Pride flags dotted the horizon, and signs in support of Puerto Rico, Ukraine and Gaza were visible in the crowd.

This year, the issue is under tension Israel–Hamas War People in Gaza are also participating in the celebrations, Exposing the Partition Within a community that often unites around political issues.

Pro-Palestinian activists disrupted Pride parades in Boston, Denver and Philadelphia in early June. Several groups taking part in Sunday’s marches said they would like to center the victims of the war in Gaza, sparking outrage among supporters of Israel.

“There’s definitely a more active presence in terms of protests at Pride events this year,” said Sandra Perez, executive director of NYC Pride. “But we were born out of a protest.”

The first Pride March was held in New York City in 1970, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the freedom struggle. Stonewall Inn RebellionThe riot was triggered by a police raid on a gay bar in Manhattan.

Nick Tarico, 47, who was at the New York parade with Overton, said he attended the parade on Friday. Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center inauguratedWhere President Joe Biden gave a speech. Tariko said he is concerned about politics in the US, including the presidential election.

“Regardless of his age, I still think this is the direction we should be moving in,” Tarico said of Biden. “But it’s a very uncertain time in this country in general.”

In addition to the NYC Pride March, the country’s largest, the city also hosted the Queer Liberation March on Sunday, an activism-focused event that was launched five years ago amid concerns that the mainstream parade had become too corporate.

One of the world’s largest Pride celebrations also took place in San Francisco on Sunday.

While thousands packed the sidewalks during Chicago’s parade, it was a smaller event than in past years. City officials reduced the North Side route and the number of floats from 199 to about 150 this year because of safety and logistical concerns, including better police deployment during the evening as post-parade parties have become more disruptive in recent years. Chicago’s parade, one of the largest in the U.S., regularly draws about 1 million people, according to the city. Crowd estimates were not immediately available Sunday.

Additional parades were held in Minneapolis and Seattle.

In addition to concerns about the protests, federal agencies have cautioned Foreign terrorist organizations and their supporters could target the parade and surrounding venues. Heavy security measures were expected at all events.



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