This weekend, New York City looked and felt like the LGBTQ capital of the world. Fifty years after the Stonewall Riots, Stonewall 50 and World Pride flourished in the heart and soul of the city, bringing tens of thousands of LGBTQ folks and allies from across the country and beyond to celebrate this momentous anniversary.
Yesterday, the inaugural Queer Liberation March kicked off in the morning, with the NYC Pride March continuing in the afternoon. The Queer Liberation March intentionally avoided corporate sponsorship and police involvement—although, unsurprisingly, there were still some police present—and followed the route of 1970's original Christopher Street Liberation Day March, the start of NYC Pride, beginning in the Village and culminating in Central Park. Chants of “Riot, riot, riot! We will not be quiet!” and signs that read AIDS IS NOT OVER served as reminders that the purposeful seeds of the Stonewall Riots need to be continuously nurtured for survival.
The Pride March stepped off at noon, its route hitting Washington Square Park, Stonewall National Monument, and the NYC AIDS Memorial and culminating at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue. The Queer Liberation and NYC Pride Marches both had moments of silence to honor those in the LGBTQ community lost to homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, HIV/AIDS, and all forms of violence. Participants and spectators were beautifully diverse—a rainbow of ages, ethnicities, cultures, nationalities, races, and sexual identities, coming from all walks of life, occupations, communities, and families to celebrate a common humanity.
All photographs by Meryl Meisler. You can follow her work here.