The site of the Stonewall riots will not have a traditional LGBTQ Pride celebration this year.
Heritage of Pride, which runs the New York City Pride March and related festivities, announced today that the NYC Pride roster of events, set for June 14-28, will not take place as planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time NYC Pride has ever been canceled.
Pride organizers and the city government came to the decision together, according to a Heritage of Pride press release. Mayor Bill de Blasio has canceled all in-person gatherings in New York City through June due to the pandemic, which has hit his city particularly hard.
"As the days have passed, it has become more and more clear that even with a decline in the spread of COVID-19, large-scale events such as ours are unlikely to happen in the near future," Maryanne Roberto Fine, NYC Pride cochair, said in the release. "We understand that we need to reimagine NYC Pride events -- and have already begun to do just that."
New York TV station WABC will broadcast an NYC Pride program in June, and the city will participate in the virtual Global Pride event June 27. NYC Pride organizers are working on other "creative ways to celebrate pride" as well, the release notes. They will also focus on initiatives such as Pride Gives Back, a grant program created to support LGBTQIA+ organizations from some of the most marginalized communities. The success of WorldPride|Stonewall 50, held in New York last year, made it possible to increase the number of grants awarded this year.
New York joins several other major cities in canceling or postponing Pride events because of the health crisis. San Francisco's Pride has been canceled, and Los Angeles's event has been postponed. Both were set for June, as many Pride events occur around the anniversary of Stonewall, which took place the last weekend of June 1969 and is credited with starting the modern LGBTQ rights movement. As numerous cities held their first Pride parades the following year, 2020 would have been the 50th anniversary for them, including New York, San Francisco, and L.A.
"We are a community that thrives when we are united," David A. Correa, interim executive director of Heritage of Pride, said in the release. "We may not fill the streets of New York City this year, but LGBTQIA+ people carry pride with them all year long. I have no doubt that we will be together again soon."