2020 NYC Pride Parade Canceled Ahead of 50th Anniversary: 'We Will Be Together Again Soon'
For the first time in its 50-year history, the New York City Pride Parade will not be held.
On Monday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during a press conference that all non-essential events for the city in June, including the 2020 NYC Pride March, would be canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to Pride, de Blasio said other large gatherings, including the Puerto Rican Day celebration and Celebrate Israel parades, would not be held in the city.
“New York City is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. We’ve come a long way since the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March 50 years ago, which is a testament to the bravery and resiliency of LGBTIA+ New Yorkers in the struggle for equality,” the mayor said in a press release issued by the Heritage of Pride and City of New York.
“While this pandemic prevents us from coming together to march, it will in no way stop us from celebrating the indelible contributions that the LGBTIA+ community has made to New York City or from recommitting ourselves to the fight for equal rights,” de Blasio added.
The roster of events for NYC Pride 2020 was originally scheduled for June 14-28, with the Pride March expected to take place on the final day of celebrations, according to NYC Pride’s website.
However, a growing concern for the “overall safety of the community” amid the pandemic prompted officials to take action early, the press release stated.
“As the days have passed, it has become more and more clear that even with a decline in the spread of COVID-19, large-scale events such as ours are unlikely to happen in the near future,” Maryanne Roberto Fine, the NYC Pride co-chair, said in the release.
Interim executive director David A. Correa also noted that “it was not easy to arrive at the decision to cancel Pride” and that “this weighed on our members, board, and staff, knowing that we serve as a haven for vulnerable communities.”
Though a parade won’t be taking place, Roberto Fine said Heritage of Pride officials have begun to “reimagine” the June events so that people can still celebrate safely.
One of the ways they are doing that is to hold a virtual Global Pride event on Saturday, June 27, as well as broadcasting a special NYC Pride programming event in June on WABC Channel 7 for NYC and tri-state area communities, the release stated.
Heritage of Pride said they would also continue working on initiatives such as Pride Gives Back, which is a grant program that provides support and programming to LGBTQ organizations from marginalized communities.
“We are a community that thrives when we are united,” Correa said in the release. “We may not fill the streets of New York City this year, but LGBTQIA+ people carry pride with them all year long. I have no doubt that we will be together again soon.”
First held in 1970, the annual NYC Pride March has become a celebration for the LGBTQ community and their allies to see how far they’ve come.
Throughout the last 50 years, the parade has also served as a celebration for the recognition of the fight against AIDS, as well as a way to honor those in the community who have died from illness, violence and neglect, according to NYC Pride’s website.
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