First-Hand Experience: My Time At The Pride Parade in New York City

The first ever Pride Parade was on June 28 in 1970 located in New York City. June 2018, I attended my first Pride Parade in New York City. It was a great opportunity. For so long the LGBTQ community has been forced into the shadows, but now more than ever people are able to express their true identity and I find that to be a beautiful thing. I am a straight cisgender female. Some may wonder as to why I was at Pride, and I’ll tell you the reason.

I am a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community. I have many friends who are a part of it. I believe that everyone should love who they love, because love has no labels. This is why I went. I went to show my support and I had a blast while doing it.

Let me tell you about how my day attending Pride went. I went to Pride with two of my friends, and we left for New York that morning. We took the train into Penn Station and then the subway to where the parade would be held in Manhattan. As soon as we got to New York, you could see everyone dressed in their rainbow colors! Some had rainbow hair, pants, shirts, glitter; basically any article of clothing or accessory you can think of, it was covered in rainbow.

Once we got to our location we arrived right in the middle of the festivities. It was the most positive, uplifting, and empowering environment. There were tons of celebrities there as well as showing their support. Although I was not able to find her, actress Victoria Justice had taken many pictures with people I know! Just knowing that celebrities come out and show their support is heartwarming.

While in New York I expected to find some counter-protesters to the celebration, however to my amazement and surprise, there were none. For every protest or event I have attended, there always was at least one counter-protest. It was great seeing the community stand in solidarity for a long overdue celebration.

I encourage everyone to attend at least some Pride event in order to support the LGBTQ community, no matter what your sexual orientation may be. I feel it is so important to stand together because love is so much stronger than hate and so much easier to embrace.

*All images from Kate Dobbs.