Woke-ness Colors Pride March, Dyke March, and Drag March, Too

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | Beyond the unprecedented forward position of thousands of “resistance” marchers from at least 18 organizations in Manhattan’s June 25 LGBTQ Pride March, the entire mood of the day — as well as of the prior day’s Dyke March and of the June 24 Drag March — reflected awareness that the queer world faces brand new challenges under the new Trump/ Pence regime.

While the Pride March and Dyke March were full of woke participants, even the Friday evening Drag March in the Village took on a fiercely political spirit.

On Fifth Avenue, on Sunday, June 25:

Marchers recall the late transgender icon Marsha P. Johnson.

Anti-Trump messages were everywhere.

And there were also plenty of the traditional vibrant colors of the day.

Couples celebrated their longevity.

Social justice warrior Candice Boyce, who died in 2010, was also remembered.

And, of course, love was celebrated enthusiastically.

SAGE pledged to continue the fight to ensure that all LGBTQ elders are counted in national surveys of senior Americans; after the group forced the Trump administration to back down on not tabulating results based on sexual orientation, the battle now turns to making sure gender identity is also surveyed.

SAGE's Michael Adams and his husband Fred Davies.

James Esseks (left), who heads up the LGBTQ and HIV Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, which was one of the March's grand marshals, rides with Gavin Grimm, the recent Virginia high school graduate who waged a battle in court to gain access to bathrooms appropriate to his gender identity.

ACT UP drew attention to the threats to health care access posed by Trump.

Longtime activist Tim Murphy voices resistance to the encroachment of corporate sponsorships on the March commemorating the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969.

A simple message from a young marcher.

Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Grand marshal Brooke Guinan, the FDNY's first out gay transgender firefighter.

The massive rainbow on Fifth Avenue.

Public Advocate Letitia James.

Brendan Fay (center) with the Lavender and Green Alliance banner.

Grand marshal Krishna Stone (right) of Gay Men's Health Crisis, with her daughter, appropriately named Parade.

Copping a kiss.

Congressmember Carolyn Maloney.

Judge Doris Ling-Cohan, who wrote the groundbreaking 2005 marriage equality ruling in Manhattan, overturned the following year by the New York State Court of Appeals.

Another marcher remembers Marsha P. Johnson.

State Senator Brad Hoylman.

Housing Works, the AIDS services group, emphasized “radical inclusion.”

Housing Works' Charles King on Pride Sunday.

Geng Le, an activist in China who established Blued, a popular gay dating app there, was one of the grand marshals.

Congressmember Jerry Nadler.

The 49 Human Beings, conceived last year by Tigger-James Ferguson, in commemoration of the LGBTQ patrons of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando murdered in a shooting spree.

State Assemblymember Daniel O'Donnell.

Gay City News carries its banner in the resistance contingent.

The Washington administration's assault on sexual health aid worldwide was another target in the March.

Edie Windsor (center), the successful 2013 plaintiff in the case that did in the Defense of Marriage Act, with her wife, Judith Kasen.

Isle of Klezbos drummer Eve Sicular.

Former State Senator Tom Duane.

A Pride Sunday participant draws attention to the persecution and killing of gay men in Chechnya.

Members of the Sirens Women's Motorcycle Club at the March's lead.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

City Councilmembers who joined the march.

The previous day, the Dyke March also took over Midtown, south to Washington Square Park:

The Dyke March banner is carried south below the Empire State Building.


Rise and resist was a big theme in Saturday's March.

Maxine Wolfe from the Lesbian Herstory Archives celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Dyke March, with Sergeant Arthur Smarsch.

Dyke visibility was key to the day.

Yetta Kurland.

The cistem was a target…

… As was the system.

Diversity was another big part of the day's spirit.

Some marchers added the rainbow.

The urgency of the issues facing the lesbian community was emphasized in many ways.

Young marchers brought wonder to the event.

And there was a steady drumbeat of passion about the afternoon.

The dangers of resurgent misogyny were on the minds of many, in the midst of an exuberant event.

On Friday evening, June 24, perhaps the most colorful annual event unfolded in the Village, also with plenty of anger and passion about the state of the union:

Keith Haring designs were supplemented by direct messaging to the Orange Menace.

Resistance was in the early summer evening air.

As was a lot of color.

It's still just a Drag March.