NEW YORK CITY – Thousands of people are taking to the streets in New York on Sunday for a historic Pride celebration.
The city is playing host to WorldPride, the largest LGBTQ celebration in the world. It’s the first time WorldPride is being held in the United States, and it is taking place during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, considered the catalyst for the modern gay rights movement.
The parade passes by the Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 uprising that saw the LGBTQ community fight back against NYPD officers who routinely raided the bar in Greenwich Village.
The city of New York shared a photo of packed streets at the start of the parade.
Sunday’s march caps off a month of events that included a rally commemorating Stonewall 50, Youth Pride and Pride Island, a three-day outdoor music festival.
Last year’s march in New York City featured more than 550 groups and more than 100 floats. That number is even larger this year, with participation from community organizations, corporate sponsors, political candidates, activists and more. Organizers expected about 115,000 to attend.
Among the grand marshals at this year’s parade are the cast of “Pose,” the TV series about New York City’s LGBTQ ballroom culture in the 1980s and 1990s.
At a press conference before the parade, “Pose” star Indya Moore urged the crowd to not let the rainbow flags along the parade route distract from the issues facing the transgender community, such as poverty, discrimination and tension with and distrust of law enforcement. She also urged the public to support the transgender community outside of Pride month.
“That’s when we need you the most,” she said. “Love us when we’re under attack.”
The late pioneering transgender icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were also honored as grand marshals of the parade.