The New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March happens this Sunday, so get ready to enjoy the parade. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s a combination of Mardi Gras, civil rights demonstration and a lineup of hundreds of LGBT groups, organizations and businesses eager to show their pride.
This annual march was first organized to commemorate the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising and has taken place every year in New York City since June 1970. That's 42 years of Pride Marches!
The bisexual contingent is marching in Section 2 of the parade and is group #32 within that section. Banners for New York Area Bisexual Network (NYABN), BiRequest and Brenda Howard (one of the original founders of the Pride March in 1970) will be carried in the parade.
As usual, any bi person, group, or friend of the bi community of any orientation, is welcome to join in with the bisexual section.
The official meeting place and time for the bisexual contingent to line up for the parade is East 40th Street between Madison and Park (closer to Park) at 11am. NYABN co-leader Larry Nelson will be there to co-ordinate. The parade kicks off at 12 noon.
Some people like to watch the parade for a while from their favorite vantage point on the March route, then jump in when their favorite group marches by. However, both Pride March organizers and the police frown on this practice. Sometimes you can get in by saying you left the march to use the bathroom and are rejoining your group. However, they now require bathroom passes to get back in. But last year the bathroom excuse still worked for me. If the cops are strict on one block, try another where they might be more lenient.
After the March, leaders from New York Area Bisexual Network, including myself, plan to lead the bi group up to Empire Szechuan Restaurant at 173 Seventh Avenue South and Perry Street, one block south of the intersection of Seventh Ave, Greenwich Ave and 11th Street. We’ll be eating in the upstairs dining room.
After lunch, or maybe before, we’ll be visiting the PrideFest, which is like a big LGBT street fair that takes place on Hudson St. between Abingdon Sq. and West 14th St. You can even find the occasional bisexual t-shirt, bumper sticker, button, magnet and jewelry through some of the PrideFest vendors, enough rainbow swag to last a lifetime, plus oodles of free condoms. There’s non-stop entertainment from 1-5:30pm on stage at the north end of PrideFest, at 13 Street and Hudson.
Whether you plan to march or watch the parade go by, you'll need sunblock, water, juice, lip balm with SPF 15 or higher and some cash for lunch and that fabulous t-shirt or button at the fest.
Heritage of Pride is the volunteer group that currently organizes the primary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride events in New York City to commemorate and celebrate the Stonewall Riots. Although NYC Pride has been ongoing since 1970, Heritage of Pride took over the planning of the New York City Pride March, Rally and Festival in 1984 and have initiated dances and several other events.