51 Photos That Capture the Joy of NYC’s Pride Parade

On any other holiday, so much colorful paraphernalia might be unwelcome. But the rainbow tidal wave that envelops New York every mid-June is the best kind of overwhelming. Yesterday was the annual NYC Pride Parade, and, with its tens of thousands of marchers, the energy in New York was so buzzy you could feel it across all five boroughs. It was, as the New York Times described, “political, provocative and always a party.”

The first march took place on June 28th, 1970, on the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which are widely considered the catalyst for the modern Gay Rights Movement. Since then, it has become, as NYCPride.org puts it, “an annual civil rights demonstration…broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to illness, violence and neglect.”

As yesterday’s parade snaked it’s way from Midtown to Greenwich Village, there was a thunderous current of joy as much as political activism and resistance. You’ll feel it when you look through the above photos, captured by MR photographer Simon Chetrit. There are so many LGBTQ causes that demand our urgent attention, but it’d be remiss not to celebrate the fact that the simple act of taking up space is a victory in its own right. You’ll feel that, too.

Photos by Simon Chetrit; follow him on Instagram @simonzchetrit.

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  • megmary13

    Love seeing so many people happy and joyous! Although the inclusion of the police in the parade (and photos of in this post) is unsettling, as Stonewall was a riot against police brutality.

    • Adrianna

      re: NYPD in the parade

      How else are we supposed to move forward towards progress? I thought the images of the police officers holding flags and driving a car covered in rainbows were especially beautiful given the history.

      Not sure if you live in NYC, but NYPD are present in every NYC parade, march, and protest for security. And surely there are police officers who are part of or allies of the LGTBQ community.

      • megmary13

        I currently don’t live in NYC but have. I’m aware they are present for large scale events. Making the movement something that is “palpable” to the police or the state (as the police is one of the most visible tenets of the state) was not, and for many in the LGTBQIA community, a goal. It is a not a sign of progress. I understand the tendency to want to see these images as progress, or even something lovely. But the founding mxthers/fxthers/etc. of the movement challenged us to imagine spaces free from state sponsored surveillance.

        • Adrianna

          Oh boy. No offense, but I roll my eyes whenever someone invokes the “founding fathers.”

        • Kay

          Isn’t it progress that LGBTQIA officers can be publicly out and supported by their employer to represent the police in a pride parade? That still can’t safely happen in a lot of places in the US. Obviously the nationwide institution of law enforcement and many individual officers are not on board with LGBTQIA rights, but wherever officers can be out, that’s progress. They could go to the parade as private citizens, but the fact that they went as cops shows that they are out at work, which is powerful and important and it can’t always be easy in that type of job. It’s an achievement and a 180 that the NY police now embrace out officers to the extent that they send a rainbow cop car to the parade. It’s not everything, it’s not perfect and we can’t forget the history, but thats part of the struggle right?

          • lunanoire

            It is progress, yet employment and housing discrimination against the above mentioned groups is still legal in many places in the USA.

    • Imaiya Ravichandran

      100% agree. this was a huge point of contention for this year’s toronto pride parade and the organization ended up banning toronto police force floats from participating. it was a controversial decision, but the right one, i think. police have a sordid history of terrorizing queer/racialised spaces; in many cases, they continue to do so. and while im sure many police see themselves as allies to the queer community, being a good ally means knowing when to stand down and give people space to heal.

      • megmary13

        Absolutely! <3

  • these photos make my heart so full :’) attending the events in person almost brought me to tears, seeing so much love around me finally made me 100% proud of my identity

  • Aydan

    I just read the polls this morning and 62% of americans support same sex marriage up from 40 some percent in 2007! HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! LOVE MAN!

    • spicyearlgrey

      careful to check for sample bias!

  • Is picture 48/51 a GIRLS spin-off ?? 😉