Thousands turn out for Queens Pride

Thousands filled the streets in Jackson Heights on Sunday to celebrate the 30th annual Queens Pride Parade and Festival. Having been absent for the last two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s festivities took the event to a whole new level.

Lasting over two hours, this year’s Queens Pride Parade featured more than 100 different groups, including local activists, LGBTQIA+ organizations, and elected officials.

Mayor Eric Adams helped lead the parade along with Grand Marshalls Adrienne Adams, speaker of the New York City Council, and former City Councilman and parade co-founder, Daniel Dromm.

The event also included representatives from nonprofit organizations such as Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo, the Caribbean Equality Project, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the CUNY LGBTQIA+ Consortium, End Trans Detention, and many more.

It also included several performances by Fogo Azul, The Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps, Gotham Cheer, CitySoul NYC, and City Cheer.

The Queens Pride Parade was founded by Dromm and gay rights activist Maritza Martinez in 1993 to improve the visibility of the LGBTQ community following the death of Julio Rivera, a 29-year-old gay Puerto Rican man who was viciously attacked by three skinheads at the schoolyard near 78th Street and 37th Avenue.

His would become the first gay hate crime to be tried in New York State. The street corner where the attack took place was later renamed “Julio Rivera Corner” as a symbolic gesture honoring his life and memory.

Jackson Heights has been home to one of the largest LGBT communities in the entire City since the 1920s, but when the attack took place in ‘93, activism was largely non-existent in what was at the time a socially conservative borough.

“If it wasn’t for Julio the Queens LGBT movement would not have gotten as far as it has gotten,” Dromm said back in 2015. “Julio did not die in vain. He changed people’s lives.”

Every year, the parade—which spans over a dozen city blocks—concludes the festivities at this historic corner. But Pride doesn’t stop there. The festivities continued long into the night with live music, presentations, food, drinks, and more.

Some of the many colorful costumes worn during the 2022 Pride Parade and Festival.

Looking regal. The Imperial Court of New York participates in the 2022 Queens Pride Parade.

Fogo Azul NYC drummers get the crowd moving in the streets during the parade.

Participants with Apicha Community Health Center enjoying the annual Pride Festival.


30th annual Queens Pride Parade and Festival

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers will flock to Jackson Heights on Sunday, June 5, to celebrate the 30th Annual Queens Pride Parade and festival–one of the City’s largest celebrations of LGBT rights and advocacy.

The parade’s Grand Marshals include New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, who will headline the festivities, as well as the nonprofit organizations Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo, and the Caribbean Equality Project.

In addition, this year’s parade will pay special tribute to Julio Rivera, a gay Queens resident who was brutally murdered in 1990 and helped spark the LGBT movement in Queens. Rivera was the first crime against a member of the LGBT community tried as a hate crime in New York State.

Joining in the festivities are the founders, organizers, and marchers from the first parade 30 years ago, including Queens Pride Parade co-founder and former New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm.

Dromm will join LGBT Network President/CEO David Kilmnick and the Grand Marshals at 12 p.m. for the ceremonial step-off of the parade–signifying three decades of advocacy and progress in Queens.

“I am thrilled to announce our Grand Marshals for the 30th Anniversary of Queens Pride,” Kilmnick said in a statement. “Speaker Adrienne Adams has been a longtime champion for the rights of the LGBT community and her advocacy has been unmatched. We are proud to commemorate three decades of activism in the borough, which emerged out of a tragedy, and has now become a symbol for pride in the City, State, and nation.”

“I am deeply honored to serve as a Grand Marshal for the 30th anniversary celebration of Queens Pride,” Adams said. “Our beautiful and diverse LGBTQ community deserves to be supported, uplifted, and celebrated. For the last three decades, the Queens Pride Parade has provided a safe space for authentic expression of pride, visibility, acceptance, and empowerment. I congratulate my fellow Grand Marshals, Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo and the Caribbean Equality Project, and the LGBT Network and I look forward to celebrating Queens Pride with all New Yorkers on June 5th!”

Dromm said that Council Speaker Adams, along with Colectivo TRANSgrediendo and Caribbean Equality Project, have continued to be committed to serving the LGBTQIA community in Queens and are helping to provide a strong representation of the diversity of the movement.

“Their work to make the world more accepting is truly commendable,” Dromm said. “It’s a good reminder that LGBTQIA people are everywhere. We are your family, friends, and neighbors. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on June 5, 2022, on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights when Queens Pride returns.”

For more information or to register for the New Queens Pride parade and multicultural festival, visit

Pol Position: In a Florida State of Mind

GOP electeds in Florida have passed a controversial new law prohibiting public school teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom.

Since it was introduced back in February, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill has been criticized by numerous human rights, free speech, and Gay rights advocates due to the homophobic nature of the law, which attempts to censor speech regarding LGBTQ+ identities.

News of the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation reached a breaking point in March when it made national headlines, after employees with the Walt Disney Company staged a walkout protesting the legislation and demanding the company cease from making political donations and commit to a plan that would protect the rights of its staff.

Since the protest, the company has vowed to donate $5 million to organizations like the Human Rights campaign and others dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ employees, and have started discussing ways it could better serve this community in the future.

Yet, despite widespread opposition, the legislation was signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said that passing the legislation “will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination.”

This didn’t sit right with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who referred to the law as “political posturing,” citing that its divisive agenda aims to “demonize” members of the LGBTQ+ community.

In response to the “Don’t Say Gay” law, Adams announced that he would be posting up billboards around several major cities across the “Sunshine State,” including Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, to remind Florida residents that NYC does not discriminate.

Of course, Gov. DeSantis fired back with false claims that the billboards were spent on the taxpayer’s dime. However, these were proven untrue as Adams stated that the campaign was funded through private donations.

“This is the city of Stonewall,” Adams said during a recent press conference. “This is the city where we are proud to talk about how you can live in a comfortable setting and not be harassed, not be abused.”

DeSantis has repeatedly defended the legislation, zeroing in on the restriction over what can be taught to children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, and shifting attention away from what many believe to be intentionally vague language restrictions on the instruction of topics not deemed “age appropriate.”

He responded to Adams attacks with over-the-top remarks about free speech and the mask mandates in schools–a topic which he was so personally vehement about that he issued an executive order banning them from schools. DeSantis had even gone so far as to threaten to strip funding from schools in Democratic counties that defied him.

“They’re saying you can say whatever you want, but they’re the ones who will force a mask on your face and muzzle you in public,” DeSantis said, directing his attention at Adams.

“I like rivalries with other states,” Adams remarked. “Florida can bring it on.”

But the real question we’re left asking ourselves is who really loses from the passing of this law? It’s certainly not any of the cis-gender lawmakers. It’s the teachers and students who are impacted by it.

Needless to say, Mayor Adams has a solid point… such a proposal would never fly in the state of New York. There are countless teacher’s unions and pro-Gay activism groups that would have swiftly put a stop to it before it even reached the floor.

And although Hizzoner didn’t spend any taxpayer money to put up these signs, he certainly has spent a lot of his time and attention directing his focus towards Florida’s hateful agenda by furthering this contest of wits with DeSantis.

Meanwhile, Adams has himself been under scrutiny from the LGBTQ+ community over decisions to appoint three people to office who have previously expressed homophobic remarks.

One activist went so far as to tell ABC News that he was “very disappointed and outraged” by the Mayor’s appointments, but ultimately decided it was best to move onward, finding there was a lot more they could do by working together.

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