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.