In a 1998 interview, Sylvia Rivera, a prominent transgender activist, recalled being at the 1969 Stonewall uprising and thinking, as Molotov cocktails flew through the air, “My God, the revolution is here. The revolution is finally here!”
It has been 50 years since the clashes at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village ignited the modern gay rights movement. And while many of the movement’s trailblazers, like Ms. Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, a fellow transgender activist, have died, other leaders have followed in their footsteps.
The energy of L.G.B.T.Q. activism and pride is reverberating throughout New York as the city hosts its annual Pride festivities and, for the first time, WorldPride. The monthlong celebration crescendos this week with a 50th anniversary Stonewall commemoration on Friday and the annual Pride parade on Sunday.
This month, The New York Times has covered Pride events throughout the city, featured perspectives from L.G.B.T.Q. celebrities, written long-overdue obituaries for L.G.B.T.Q. history makers, reviewed L.G.B.T.Q. art and much more. Still, we’re not done.
Join us this week as we continue our coverage of Pride events and scenes from around the city. — Aaron Randle
Friday, June 21
Leading into Pride’s final week, Ladyfag hosted the Pride and Paradise party at the recently opened Paradise Club, inside the Times Square Edition Hotel. The sold-out event, with its tongue-in-cheek Jane Austen reference (its tagline was “Not intended for Jane Austen, nor the faint of heart”) lasted until nearly 4 a.m. Guests enjoyed drag performances, an abundance of lights and lasers, and music from the D.J.s Michael Magnan, Greg K. and Dicap.
Monday, June 24
To start off the week, WorldPride partnered with the L.G.B.T. Center for its annual Garden Party, billed as the official kickoff to WorldPride. Guests flocked to Pier 97 at Hudson River Park in Manhattan, where they were treated to an evening event with seasonal food from local chefs. Proceeds from the party went to the center, a Manhattan-based community organization that offers advocacy, health and wellness programs to New York’s L.G.B.T.Q. community.
Bertha Mason, a pie-baking drag queen, had fans of pie covered (possibly in dough) on Monday. Michael D. Bowen, who has been performing his “Baking With Bertha” act for 20 years at the Church of the Village on West 13th Street in Manhattan, bakes pies while dishing out sassy, funny and sometimes dark tales. The church has its own piece of gay liberation history: Pflag, the first American organization aimed at uniting allies with members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, was founded there in 1972.
[Take our Pride Walk to learn more about the Church of the Village, the L.G.B.T. Center, and other important places in gay New York.]