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WORLD PRIDE NYC STONEWALL 50/Heritage of Pride Announces Grand Marshals, Snubs Surviving Riot Participants

This week, Heritage of Pride, the group that produces New York City’s annual Pride Parade and this year’s World Pride NYC Stonewall 50th Anniversary, announced its Grand Marshals.

Missing, though, are any of the surviving participants, known as the Stonewall Veterans, those who were there at the Stonewall Inn and stood up for our rights and rioted on that fateful night in June of 1969.

The Grand Marshals for this year’s historic Pride parade include the cast of Pose, as well as Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder of UK Black Pride, and Monica Helms, creator of the transgender pride flag.  The Trevor Project and the Gay Liberation Front, billed by NYC Pride as the first post-Stonewall LGBTQ+ activist organization, will also lead as grand marshals.

“We’re really thrilled with the group of grand marshals we have this year,” said James Fallarino, a spokesperson for HOP, which has produced New York City’s Pride events since 1984. “The goal is for them to reflect what World Pride 2019 and Stonewall 50 are all about.”

Obviously, it seems that to HOP, Stonewall 50 means not including or honoring any of the last few surviving participants who actually took part in the riot at the Stonewall Inn, or those who participated in the days and nights of rioting that followed. Also missing, except for the very general inclusion of the Gay Liberation Front–many of whom will not be participating this year because of HOP’s corporate ties–are any lesbian and gay Pride Marshals.

I ask you: how much more disrespectful and insensitive could Heritage of Pride be to our history and to the memory of those who fought for us not only in the riots but also over the past 50 years?

This is just one more reason on an ever-growing list why I do not support and will not attend Pride celebrations in NYC this year.

If Heritage Of Pride believes that the cast members of Pose are more worthy to be PRIDE Marshals than the people who actually fought for our liberation on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, then our cause is all but lost.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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7 thoughts on “WORLD PRIDE NYC STONEWALL 50/Heritage of Pride Announces Grand Marshals, Snubs Surviving Riot Participants”

  1. Article is unclear whether any Stonewall50 members were nominated to be Grand Marshalls, so to say they were snubbed is an exaggeration. Looks like they went to a LOT of trouble to gather a very inclusive group of Grand Marshalls, which most people are very happy with. But, a few will always find SOMETHING to complain about. They are known as bores.

    1. HoP states that there was a voting process where the SVA could have submitted the group for “consideration”. The SVA, being the original and oldest Stonewall veterans organization should automatically qualify the group to lead the march due to the fact that the parade is supposedly being held to honor the 50th anniversary of it’s members Rebellion. Another excuse by HoP is that the GLF, who were chosen, have “Stonewall” Pioneers, yet the GLF disbanded in 1973 and there is no evidentiary support to back up this claim except for the word of the current group’s leader, which cannot be substantiated.. Not inviting the people to lead that this years march that supposedly honors their resistance is unconscionable, but including a newcomer group like the NewGLF and the cast of the TV show “Pose” is downright insulting.

  2. Well, did anyone ask? I bet they would have, if they had thought of it. Alas, they didn’t.

    Still, rather cheap to engage in a shaming article. Easy to criticize, when it isn’t you doing the work.

  3. Henderson was not on Christopher street or in the bar any of the four nights.i am not
    the aware of any credible person who can confirm his presence. Nor was his 1970 Cadillac in June of q969. He first was know to have been active in the drag community in the early 70’s when he began to work at Lee’s Mardi Grau, a drag emporium for men on 14th sr. He did join the the Court, became their treasure .stole the money and was kicked out ..claims to have founded a rival group whose exsitence is in question. Despite his not being involved he founded the Stonewall vets ..a grifters dream and embarked on a career of collecting money from well intended straight people and politicians. He hopped on the lecture circuit with his hand out stretched collecting fees that went into his pocket
    .Stonewall Vets became his personal gravy train. He and he alone controlled the group. When some authenticated people present that first night joinned, they quickly left when they realized his game. He actualy fooled the New York Times whose reporter failed to do his research. Gay City News exposed him for the grifter he is..Duncan Osborn did do his research. It angers me that he would rob the identity of people like Storme to draw credibility to his lies .Dead people can’t talk back. Jim Fouratt

    1. Does it anger you that Sylvia Rivera lied about being there the first night and yet people keep that lie alive and a part of history just not to upset the trans community?

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