Sunday’s Queer Liberation March in Pictures

Grafitti in SoHo
In a show of refusing to remain silent, marchers carried placards with the names of those who have been killed from police violence.
Donna Aceto

At the height of the coronavirus crisis in New York City — with luck, that was the height — it appeared as though there would be no show of Pride on the streets here this June.

Then, in the wake of George Floyd’s Memorial Day killing in Minneapolis and with protests erupting worldwide in the name of Black Lives Matter and in opposition to police use of lethal force on people of color, the Reclaim Pride Coalition — which last year held the Queer Liberation March as an alternative to the traditional LGBTQ Pride March with its plethora of corporate floats — announced on June 4 that it would stage the Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality.

On June 29, The New York Times reported that on at least 70 occasions in the US over the past decade, individuals who died at the hands of police uttered the words “I can’t breathe” — more than half of the deaths involved Black people and most resulted from police action involving minor infractions, 911 calls of suspicious behavior, or mental health episodes.Donna Aceto

The event, which traveled from Foley Square in Lower Manhattan to Washington Square Park — with a pass by the Stonewall Inn in the West Village — drew tens of thousands for a march that was largely peaceful, at least until the NYPD’s effort to arrest someone at Washington Square led to their use of pepper spray and batons to subdue a group of marchers angered by the arrest.

Roughly an hour into the march, participants took the knee.Donna Aceto

Heritage of Pride, also known as NYC Pride, canceled its annual march, opting instead for a virtual program aired on ABC 7. A symbolic procession of balloons and grand marshal-less grand marshal cars, with several elected officials along the route to say a few words, did, however, yield at least one striking image.

Reclaim Pride’s Jay W. Walker addressed the throngs assembled in Foley Square.Donna Aceto
Messages of Black Lives Matter mixed with resistance to Donald Trump.Donna Aceto
The epidemic of violence against transgender women of color was also a focus of the march.Donna Aceto
Activist Sheila Marino-Thomas.Donna Aceto
Love and resistance were intertwined on Sunday, as Ray Disken Black showed.Donna Aceto
Liz Migueles and Shep Wahnon of Gays Against Guns.Donna Aceto
Robert Croonquist and Rollerena.Donna Aceto
The poster that promoted the June 28 event.Donna Aceto
Reclaim Pride’s Tricia Cooke and her girlfriend Lisa Fithian, a longtime social justice organizer.Donna Aceto
A marcher ensuring he didn’t get overheated — himself.Donna Aceto
Kimberly Miller of Gays Against Guns.Donna Aceto
Francesca Benitez of the Reverend Billy Talen’s Church of Stop Shopping Choir.Donna Aceto
Sasha Alexander of Black Trans Media.Donna Aceto
Erin Drinkwater and spouse Natalia Aristizabal.
Caroline Earle Cotter and spouse Laurie Cotter.Donna Aceto
Tangina Stone takes a knee between singing The National Anthem and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as part of Heritage of Pride’s symbolic procession on June 28.Donna Aceto