NYC Pride announces 2023 grand marshals

Billy Porter is stepping into the world of dance music in his latest album.
Billy Porter is stepping into the world of dance music in his latest album.

NYC Pride, or Heritage of Pride, on May 18 announced five grand marshals for the 2023 NYC Pride March, which is slated for Sunday, June 25.

Billy Porter, Yasmin Benoit, AC Dumlao, Hope Giselle, and Randy Wicker will lead the march as grand marshals, according to NYC Pride, which also announced that Angelica Ross will return as co-host and featured performer for the live broadcast on ABC7.

Angelica Ross at Pride
Angelica Ross prepares to go on air for the ABC7 NYC Pride broadcast in 2021.Michael Luongo

The NYC Pride March is one of two large-scale marches taking place on Pride Sunday in New York. The Reclaim Pride Coalition’s Queer Liberation March will kick off with a rally at Foley Square at 2 p.m. before marching through the streets.

“With legislation targeting LGBTQIA+ rights having more than doubled since last, the annual NYC Pride March remains not only relevant but incredibly necessary,” Bansri Manek, the director of the NYC Pride March, said in a written statement. “Embodying our theme of Strength in Solidarity, each of this year’s grand marshals have used their platforms to bridge gaps within our community to bring about positive change for all marginalized voices.”

Benoit is an asexual activist, writer, speaker, researcher, and model who hails from the United Kingdom. Benoit, who co-founded International Asexuality Day on April 6, has worked on campaigns with brands ranging from Budweiser to Mercedes and serves on the board of Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

Longtime LGBTQ rights activist Randy Wicker
Longtime LGBTQ rights activist Randy Wicker.Donna Aceto

Dumlao is the chief of staff at Athete Ally, which is a national organization fighting for LGBTQ inclusion in sports through education and advocacy efforts. Dumlao also hosts a Facebook page — “Call Me They” — for the purpose of shedding light on news developments from the perspect of a queer, trans, non-binary Filipinx-American. Athlete Ally’s presence at the forefront of the march comes at a time when trans athletes are under siege in states where laws are barring students from competing in sports in accordance with their gender identity.

Giselle is a trans organizer, author, artist, and activist who launched the first LGBTQ organization at Alabama State University.

Porter, a well-decorated performer who has won two Tony Awards, a Grammy, and an Emmy, is among the most visible faces in the LGBTQ community — including in New York City. Among one of Porter’s most recent award-winning endeavors included starring in the hit FX show “Pose,” for which he won an Emmy for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.” Porter is shifting his focus to music by working on his own album, “The Black Mona Lisa.”

Wicker, a longtime LGBTQ activist dating back to his work with the Mattachine Society, participated in the 1966 “sip-in” demonstration at Julius’ Bar to bring greater awareness to New York laws preventing bartenders from serving LGBTQ people. Wicker, who lived with the late activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, has continued to support queer causes in recent years.

Last year’s NYC Pride grand marshals were TV personality TS Madison, “Saturday Night Live” star Punkie Johnson, athlete and advocate Schuyler Bailar, activist and speaker Dominique Morgan, and attorney Chase Strangio of the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project.

Marchers are scheduled to step off at noon on Pride Sunday at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue. They will head south on Fifth Avenue and turn west on Eighth Street before crossing Sixth Avenue and proceeding along Christopher Street past the Stonewall Inn. The final stretch of the march will shift north on Seventh Avenue and conclude at 16th Street and Seventh Avenue.