Donna Aceto’s LGBT Pride March Diary
PHOTOS BY DONNA ACETO | Once again this year, the LGBT Pride March provided a fascinating picture of the community.
Commitment and love were themes seen everywhere:
Connie Kopelov (seated) and Phyllis Siegel, together since 1987 and the first couple to marry in New York City last July, were among the grand marshals.
Mary Jo Kennedy and Jo-Ann Shain, plaintiffs in the unsuccessful 2006 lawsuit to win marriage rights in the New York courts, spent Pride celebrating their 30 years together and their 11 months as a married couple.
Edie Windsor, a New York widow who recently won in a US district court in her challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, marched with the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Marriage Equality New York, the grassroots group so important in last year's successful fight in Albany, continue to press for an end to discrimination by the federal government and by 44 states.
Protection of the community’s youth was the message from a good number of march contingents.
The Ali Forney Center provides housing and social services to homeless LGBTQ youth.
FIERCE advocates for LGBTQ youth of color and is part of the coalition protesting the NYPD's stop and frisk practices.
Need to Talk Live is a program of the Trevor Project, which helps at-risk LGBTQ youth with efforts that include a nationwide suicide hotline.
The It Gets Better Campaign reminds adults, queer and not, that they have an obligation to LGBTQ youth.
Actor George Takei and Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio Cub Scout den mother expelled because she is a lesbian, advocated for opening up the Boy Scouts to gay members and leaders.
An elder Scout leader who was expelled shows the Boy Scouts policy is taken to truly absurd heights.
Naturally, many other causes are promoted during the march –– from AIDS healthcare to gay history to opposition to fracking.
In addition to Connie Kopelov and Phyllis Siegel, the parade’s other grand marshals were Cyndi Lauper, whose True Colors Foundation fights against bigotry, bullying, and harassment directed at LGBTQ youth and others, and Chris Salgardo, the out gay president of Kiehl’s.
And, of course, hundreds of thousands of participants and spectators turned out Sunday to just have fun –– at the parade and afterward.
The Imperial Court of New York.