Fourth Annual Queer Liberation March Slated for June 26

2021 Reclaim Pride Queer Liberation March
Marchers pack in behind the Queer Liberation March banner.
Donna Aceto

The fourth annual Queer Liberation March is officially slated to take place on June 26, the final Sunday in June, the Reclaim Pride Coalition announced on February 16.

The annual march, which was first held in 2019, is continuing the tradition of serving as an alternative to the city’s main Pride march: The Queer Liberation March is barring corporate sponsors, uniformed police officers, “regimented contingents,” and police control, according to a release distributed by the Reclaim Pride Coalition. Last year, Heritage of Pride, or NYC Pride, also imposed a ban on uniformed police contingents through at least 2025.

The 2021 Queer Liberation March — which was the only full in-person march in the city last year and drew tens of thousands of people — started at Bryant Park and concluded at Washington Square Park. It is not yet clear whether this year’s route will remain the same.

This year’s march aims to shine a light on the impact of COVID-19, aggressive policing, murders of Black trans women, and transphobia and racism among LGBTQ individuals and allies, organizers said. There are lingering tensions stemming from the NYPD’s actions at Washington Square Park following the last two Queer Liberation Marches. In 2020, a graffiti incident ended with NYPD using pepper spray on marchers at the park, and last year cops again allegedly used pepper spray on folks near the Washington Square Arch following the march.

In an effort to confront those issues collaboratively, advocates are hosting a “QLM Town Hall,” which is scheduled for March 6 from 3-5 p.m. Registration is required and organizers say a registration link will be available at reclaimpridenyc.org and on the Reclaim Pride Coalition’s social media platforms.

“The organizers of the QLM recognize the challenges our almost all-volunteer team of organizers have faced in creating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive March,” Reclaim Pride Coalition said in a press release.

The Reclaim Pride Coalition further said they aim to “revive the goals and spirit of the original Christopher Street Liberation Day March in 1970, born out of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising: social justice, freedom, and access for all!”

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