Pride Parade Marched On With Mix Emotions In New York City

On Sunday, thousands of New Yorkers gathered in their best Pride outfits to watch, cheer, and walk in the annual Pride Parade in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.

For over 38 years, Heritage of Pride has organized events for Pride Week, including the march which first began 1970 as an annual remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising which launched the modern day gay rights movement

This year was no different.

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NYC Pride adopted the theme of "Unapologetically Us" to celebrate each and every person's unique story this year.

Pride marchers encourage the crowd to cheer as they make their way up Eighth Avenue Ariana Baio

A person in a wheelchair waves the Pride flag as they make their way down the street Ariana Baio

"Our community has been through tremendous hardships over the past few years, beginning with the pandemic, and continuing with a reckoning with social justice, threats to our democracy, and more recently armed conflict overseas,” NYC Pride Executive Director Sandra Pérez said.

"In spite of these challenges and attacks, we are here to tell the country and the world: we will not be erased. We will stand together to face these attacks on our LGBTQIA+ siblings across the country and around the world. We will continue to love and live our truth and be our full and complete selves - and we are not going to apologize for it.”

Paul, Steven Love Menendez, and Mitchell Daniels hold Pride flags high in the air Ariana Baio

"We believe the only thing that can overcome hate is love," Steven Love Menendez said.

Leading the parade were five Grand Marshals each representing the theme "Unapologetically Us" - Ts Madison, Punkie Johnson, Schuyler Bailar, Dominique Morgan, and Chase Strangio.

Pride Grand Marshal Punkie Johnson leads the parade alongside her four fellow Grand Marshals Ariana Baio

Grand Marshal Schuyler Bailar holds a transgender flag while riding in a Grand Marshal car to kick off the Pride parade Ariana Baio

The parade route begins on Fifth Avenue and makes it way down toward Greenwich Village where it crosses over Christopher Street to pass the Stonewall Inn. Then the parade turns on Seventh Avenue passing the New York City AIDS Memorial before dispersing.

The Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band performed 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen Ariana Baio

Pride volunteers hold balloons in the colors of the Pride flag Ariana Baio

In light of the Supreme Court's recent ruling which overturned Roe v. Wade, NYC Pride welcomed Planned Parenthood as a featured marching contingent.

Many people marched alongside Planned Parenthood, holding signs advocating for a person's right to choose abortion. Other healthcare organizations also prominently featured signs in support of the freedom to choose.

Signs, flyers, and pins were handed out to people in the crowd in support of abortion rights Ariana Baio

Many people held signs in support of Roe v. Wade and a person's right to choose abortion Ariana Baio

A Pride parade performer jumps and dances while the crowd cheers them on Ariana Baio

"Pride means being yourself, staying authentic to yourself and not giving a damn what anyone has to think about it," said Jojo Guadagno who helped lead the parade.

A parade participants wears the colors of the transgender flag as they walk up Seventh Avenue Ariana Baio

Jojo Guadagno and Gianna Evelyn pose shortly before walking in the annual Pride parade Ariana Baio

"It's like finally being able to breathe," Gianna Evelyn said. "Fully free to be yourself and be loved for exactly the person you are. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, that's not accepted or expressed to us a lot of the time it's nice to have this fresh air and be able to be out and be free and be ourselves."

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