This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to a police raid that took place at the Stonewall bar in New York City. These riots are often considered the beginning of the gay rights movement and are commemorated each year with marches and parades in New York and across the country.
In the years since Stonewall, June has become Pride Month, meant to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and continue the push for gay rights. The Central New York Pride group held a parade and festival June 22nd at the Syracuse Inner Harbor.
“We filled the Inner Harbor. We constantly had this flow of people coming in, enjoying the celebration, reaching out, meeting new people. It was beautiful,” CNY Pride board member David Simmons said.
Simmons was also excited to announce that in addition to CNY festivities, members of our community were invited by Governor Cuomo to participate in the Stonewall commemorative parade happening in New York City on June 30th.
The CNY area has come a long way in the years since Stonewall, Simmons feels. This past festival is just one example of people reaching out to others, being incredibly accepting and supportive.
If you’re looking to support the LGTBQ+ community, Simmons says you can always donate, host events or help local organizations who are committed to assisting and supporting the queer population.
To round out Pride Month in CNY, there are a number of events coming up that are open to the public.
The Syracuse Mets are having Pride Night on Thursday June 27 with the game starting at 6:35 p.m. On Friday June 28, the North Syracuse Library is hosting a Pride Picnic from 2 to 4 p.m. The Auburn Pride 2019 Market and Rainbow Rally is set for Saturday June 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center. Finally, Elevate Fitness is hosting a Ride for Pride Spin Class on Saturday, June 29 as well from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
If you’d like to learn more about CNY Pride and ways to get involved, visit CNYPride.org.