The grand marshals for the 2017 New York LGBT Pride March have been announced in advance of this year’s gathering on Sunday, June 25.
Leading the event will be Brooke Guinan, Krishna Stone, Geng Le and the ACLU.
● The American Civil Liberties Union has defended individual freedoms for nearly a century, bringing its first LGBT rights case to court in 1936. The ACLU first defended same-sex marriage in 1970, litigated the Supreme Court cases that took down DOMA, and represented trans student Gavin Grimm.
● Brooke Guinan, 29, is a trans activist, firefighter, and native New Yorker. She has been honored by the New York City Comptroller’s office, the Public Advocate’s office, the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, and the FDNY for her service to the LGBT community.
● Now director of Community Relations at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Krishna Stone began as a walker in GMHC’s AIDS Walk in 1986 and joined the staff in 1993. In 2014, Stone received an award from the NYC Health Department for outstanding dedication to combating the spread of HIV.
● Geng Le is a leader in the burgeoning movement for LGBT equality in the People’s Republic of China. In 2012, he created Blued, a gay social networking app, after leaving his job as a policeman. On World AIDS Day 2016, Geng donated 1 million RMB ($145,000) to to non-governmental Chinese organizations working on HIV prevention.
“In the social and political turmoil brought by the current Administration, [they] represent the components of what will ultimately be a successful resistance movement,” said Julian Sanjivan, NYC Pride March Director. “Our 2017 grand marshals are a snapshot of the numerous organizations, individuals, and philanthropists that will lead us through this unprecedented time in our nation.”
This year, Pride celebrations in D.C., L.A., and elsewhere are shifting focus onto resistance, New York Pride has always been political: Its billed a march, not a parade—and Pride week traditionally begins with a rally the weekend before.
The 48th NYC Pride March kicks off at noon on June 25, at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street. The route proceeds down Fifth Avenue and ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets.
In addition to the annual procession, a three-day concert event will take place June 23 to 25 at Manhattan’s Pier 26. Pride Island will host Patti LaBelle and Deborah, Tegan & Sara, Years & Years, Roisin Murphy, Gallant, Chus & Ceballlos and others.
The series won’t replace the annual Dance on the Pier, which will take that place and, as usual, feature a surprise top-caliber talent. (Past performers have included Cher, Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson.)
“While LGBT Pride at its heart is about activism and social change, we also believe that our community needs a space to celebrate who we are and what we’ve achieved, and that’s why we created Pride Island,” said Pride Island organizer Jose Ramos. “Each day focuses on different musical sounds and styles that people from all walks of life will be excited about.”
Registration for the 2017 NYC Pride March is open until May 16. Info is available at NYC Pride website.