➤ BRONX PRIDE, from p.20 is not only bringing people in the borough together but it’s helping them find ways to organize within their community,” said Stonewall’s president, Rod Townsend. “We’re trying to help by showing them pathways in the community that exist and also help to make sure everybody has their voter registration up to date.” Performers of all ages expressed themselves on stage and drew wide applause from onlookers draped with Rainbow Flags and colorful attire. Performers included Honey Davenport of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” actor and model Chavis Aron, R&B/ pop artist Deborah Cox, La Insuperable, DJ Nesto, the House of Mugler, Nico Gonzalez, Kris Rox Republic, and others. Sayief Leshaw, who works as a program manager with Stonewall Community Development Corporation, was walking around the festival after tabling throughout the day when he explained why he enjoys attending Pride celebrations. “Visibility is important for the community, so I try to make it to
MAT T TRACY
The crowd cheers on Kris Rox Republic on stage as the sun begins to set in the South Bronx.
as many events as I can,” Leshaw said. He also voiced his take on WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, saying that it has been great to see “the acknowledgement internationally of where this contemporary LGBT civil rights movement started.” He added, “It’s been also really nice to see the recognition given to the trans women of color who have
played such a big role in this movement.” Another attendee, Michael, who opted not to share his last name, said it was his second time attending Bronx Pride and he has noticed it grow over the years. “I’m very happy that we’re having this celebration in the Boogie Down,” he said. “There are still so many things happening around
the world, but the fact that we can still come together in the Bronx and the five boroughs to support LGBTQ people is so important.” In perhaps a sign of the borough’s historically conservative nature — a borough still represented by some homophobic lawmakers who also hold leadership roles in conservative churches — the size of Bronx Pride was noticeably smaller in comparison to the much larger Queens and Brooklyn Pride events produced annually in nearby borough. The Bronx, of course, has a much smaller population than either Queens or Brooklyn, but Councilmember Torres, in a May interview with Gay City News, drilled down on the point that the borough is “widely seen as the most conservative” in the city. Still, the growing crowd, the introduction of two rainbow crosswalks on 149th Street, and the positive vibes of people in attendance all were good signs for the future — and an indication that queer people in the Bronx are as comfortable as they’ve ever been in expressing themselves openly and proudly.
Cele Celebrate WorldPride with a rainbow cookie and many other treats at TTurnStyle, New York City’s Underground City Market in the Subway Mar at 558th and 8th Avenue. Ave
June 27 - July 3, 2019 | GayCityNews.nyc
Gay City News issue for Stonewall 50/ WorldPride, June 27, 2019