While I only spent about two and a half hours photographing NYC’s Pride March, I found the LGBTQ celebration to be larger in scope and attendance than in prior years. The 2019 March marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a historical event that many consider the start of the modern gay rights movement. Around the anniversary and the March, New York City celebrated WorldPride, inviting the global community to the city for the last weekend in June where the Pride month celebrations reached their climax.
Official Pride events like Pride Island featured performances from music legends like Grace Jones, Madonna, and others, while the Youth Pride event had the new pop star Ava Max. But unofficial events reveled as well — the Robyn Party had a drag performer and invited Kiesza to do a “surprise” set during their Pride night.
It was the March itself that culminated it all. Onlookers packed every inch of the route. The number of groups formally participating numbered over 600, including people from Scandinavian countries — all marched down Fifth Avenue before turning through the village towards the Stonewall Inn itself. In front of the Inn many participants took selfies, tipped their hats, and were otherwise starstruck standing in front of the historic landmark.
It was also a spot for politicians like Governors Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, and NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio to stage a photo opp or, in the case of the latter, stump for his run for President of the United States. Cuomo too made the event a bit of a political spectacleas he signed bill A2707 into law during the march. Per the New York Post, the new law bans the “gay panic” defense, which “is a legal strategy that allows the defendant to justify murder by claiming they acted in response to learning about the victim’s sexual orientation.”