Reclaim Pride unveils theme for fifth annual Queer Liberation March

The Reclaim Pride Coalition's 2021 Queer Liberation March.
The Reclaim Pride Coalition’s 2021 Queer Liberation March.
Donna Aceto

The Reclaim Pride Coalition’s fifth annual Queer Liberation March will be held on June 25 under the theme of “Trans & Queer; Forever Here!”

The annual march, held as a grassroots-based alternative to the mainstream NYC Pride Parade, will begin with a rally at Foley Square before proceeding through lower Manhattan and concluding at Washington Square Park. The Reclaim Pride Coalition is asking marchers to gather at Foley Square at 2 p.m. for the rally.

The Reclaim Pride Coalition is emphasizing visibility and fighting back against the erasure of LGBTQ people at a time when the community has been targeted by transphobic legislation in statehouses as well as broader attacks on inclusive education programs, libraries, gender-affirming care, and the right to play sports, among other areas. In announcing the theme, Reclaim Pride also sounded the alarm about the state of American democracy and denounced the emergence of “home-grown, repugnant fascism.”

“The attacks against LGBTQIA2S+ youth and adults remain unprecedented,” Reclaim Pride Coalition co-founder Jay W. Walker said in a written statement. “Since last year’s Queer Liberation March, the christo-fascist patriarchy has only redoubled its crusade to transform this nation into a theocracy; a replica of Margaret Atwood’s ‘Gilead.’ As they flail about, spewing venom at our communities, we know that by standing proudly in our truth and speaking that truth every day, especially at Pride, we are stating very clearly that we shall not be moved.”

The Queer Liberation March was held for the first time in 2019 after activists grew increasingly frustrated with the corporate and police presence at NYC Pride festivities. That year marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and coincided with activists’ efforts to restore the roots of Pride in the city.

In accordance with the group’s mission — and origin — the Reclaim Pride Coalition bars uniformed police from marching and shuns corporate sponsors. The Queer Liberation March has attracted tens of thousands of people every year.

“Our trans and queer youth need us now more than ever,” Reclaim Pride Coalition organizer Meg Jones said in a written statement. “With the myriad legislative efforts continuously being thrown at us, we need to continue to come together in community, to protect and support our queer and trans youth as they confront horrors no one should ever have to face.”

Meanwhile, the theme of Heritage of Pride’s NYC Pride March is “Strength in Solidarity,” which emphasizes the importance of standing together for the community in the face of adversity. Heritage of Pride’s march begins at noon on June 25, though the route has not been revealed yet.