PHOTOS: The Rally Kicks Off Pride Weekend in NYC

New York City's 45th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Rally launched the weekend with Michelle Visage, Demi Lovato, Sharon Needles, and Betty Who.

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 29 2014 6:57 PM ET

In March 2013 Judah Gavra competed in Eurovision Israel 2013 (Kdam Eurovision) with his song "We're Beautiful" and received rave reviews for his performance. After a period in New York, teaching music, dancing and acting in a Jewish summer camp, Judah found himself in Israel again, planning to study performing arts in Israel. But then he got an unexpected phone call: his ex-commander from the Army, where he had served as a singer in the Rabanuth Choir, asked him if he would like to be a cantor in a synagogue in Brooklyn during Yom Kippur. The new visit led him to reconsider schools in the city.

Susan Sarandom, a long time ally, addresses the crowd.

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is one of the most prominent leaders in the U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement. Carey, who came to the Task Force in 2004 as deputy executive director, has served as executive director since 2008. Through her leadership, Carey has advanced a vision of fairness and justice for LGBT people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive. Some of the Task Force’s successes during Carey’s tenure have include being a key player in passage of the LGBT-inclusive federal hate crimes prevention law; the defeat of multiple anti-LGBT ballot measures across the country; the creation and implementation of the New Beginning Initiative coalition, which secures federal administrative policy changes to improve the lives of LGBT people and their families; and the release of the largest-ever study on transgender discrimination in the U.S. Under her guidance, the Task Force has also launched an Online Academy bolstering grassroots power by providing electronic access to its signature training programs; expanded its faith work through the Institute for Welcoming Resources, increasing the number of welcoming and affirming congregations to well over 4,000; and played a vital role in getting the U.S. Census Bureau to report married same-sex couples in the 2010 census. The Task Force also hosts the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, which is the largest convening of LGBT activists and supporters in the country and serves as a driving force for strategy and organizing on LGBT issues.

Prior to her work with the Task Force, Carey worked extensively in HIV/AIDS prevention and in the LGBT community as one of the co-founders of Gay Men and Lesbians Opposing Violence and the founding executive director of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition. She has also served as an advisor to major donors and foundations, and has served on the advisory boards for such wide-ranging publications as Teen People magazine and the Georgetown University Journal of Gender and the Law. Carey She serves on the Advisory Board of the LGBTQ Policy Journal, of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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