New Queens Pride Parade , Queens NY-2024

BY: Adal Hussain, Chief Editor,  Queens Pride Parade 37th Ave Jackson Heights Queens NY  , June 2nd 2024

The parade was founded by Daniel Dromm and co-chaired by Maritza Martinez to raise the visibility of the LGBTQ community in Queens and memorialize Jackson Heights resident Julio Rivera.

Queens also serves as the largest transgender hub in the Western hemisphere and is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.

The Queens Pride Parade formed in response to Rivera’s murder and, more directly, to the 1992 homophobic outcry over the inclusion of gay and lesbian content in the Children of the Rainbow curriculum, which was designed to teach children tolerance of all of New York City’s diverse communities.

As a result, former NYC Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm, who was then a public school teacher in the borough’s Community School District 24 (where the controversy was centered).

Came out as openly gay and decided to counter the ensuing propaganda with a family-friendly celebratory parade that would promote LGBT visibility and pride, and be based in a neighborhood where many closeted gay people lived.

Daniel Dromm, Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee co-chair, 1999.

On November 22, 1992, the initial planning meeting was held in Dromm’s Flushing apartment, and the formation of the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee (QLGPC) followed soon after at a meeting of Queens Gays and Lesbians United (Q-GLU).

Co-chaired by Dromm and Cuban-born LGBT rights activist Maritza Martinez, QLGPC canvassed neighborhood gay bars for donations and support. Dromm later recalled that some bar owners were resistant, “It was a very quiet lesbian and gay community — a large one but not a very visible one. People were worried that if they became visible, they would pay a price.”

The first Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival took place on Sunday, June 6, 1993, and an estimated 10,000 people attended.

The parade route ran from 89th to 75th Streets along 37th Avenue, which was painted with a lavender line.

The accompanying stage show featured drag queen and transgender performers, who were also pivotal beforehand in helping to raise money and promote the parade at the gay bars where they regularly entertained. Martinez gave a bilingual speech, with the following spoken in Spanish.

This year’s Grand Marshall’s were: Leroy Comrie New York State Senator Leroy Comrie was elected to represent the 14th Senatorial District of Queens (encompassing portions of Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Hollis, St. Albans, Laurelton, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Hillcrest and Kew Gardens) in November 2014, officially taking office January 1, 2015.

Billy Green, New York State’s Teacher of the Year Billy Green is a veteran of multiple city schools, current teacher at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in Manhattan and dedicated community servant both in his native Harlem and in Africa.

Amber Ferrer: Community Advocate, Amber ‘s profound pride in her community extends beyond her honor as a Grand Marshal. Under her leadership, Jackson Heights’ own Friend’s Tavern and Viva La Heights celebrate individuality, inclusivity, and empowerment, providing a safe and uplifting space for all 365 days a year.

Live entertainment was headed by, Carlos Basquiat now has loved the art of dance for as far back as he can remember., Jonte’ Moaning, Who collaborates with Beyoncé, Janet Jackson and BLACKPINK, has immaculate dance technique, flawless fashion serves, and pioneering androgynous vibes in heels, Julius Ferreira better known to the world of nightlife as Julius Caeser was born and raised in Queens, New York. Since young he has always been a social butterfly and so many more entertainers, performing at the stage.

Thousands marched at the 2024, New Queens Pride Parade, other dignitaries in attendance included, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Queens Borough President, Richard Donovan, Michael Gianaris Senate Deputy Leader. ( D, WF ) 12th Senate District , Jessica Ramos, New York State Senator for District 13, Catalina Cruz, New York’s 39th State Assembly district, Lynn C. Shulman , District 29 – Council Member, Tiffany Caban, Council Member for the 22nd District in Queens and More Politicians in attendance. 

Other Dignitaries included: Kenneth Adams  president of LaGuardia Community College, Dennis M. Walcott  President and CEO of Queens Public Library.

The New Queens Pride and Festival is produced by the LGBT Network.The LGBT Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is a home and voice for LGBT people, their families, and support systems in Long Island and Queens.

Our three LGBT community centers help LGBT people to be themselves, stay healthy, and change the world.

Since 1993, we have been pioneering advocacy and social change to create safe space for LGBT people where they live, learn, work, play, and pray.

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