June came, LGBTQ+ Pride monthand the county of Queens will be in charge of opening the celebrations of this 2022 with the well-known New Queens Pride Parade Festival and Paradewhich was suspended for COVID-19 pandemic.
And beyond the celebration, the floats and the artistic samples that will be in this 30th edition, the diverse community is celebrating with a bittersweet taste, because despite having achieved more achievements in the fight for the vindication of their rights, homophobic violence and transphobic are still present.
This is what Bianey García warns, LGBTQ leaderafter revealing that so far this year, only in the county of Queens there are already 10 victims of hate crimes, so through the Trip Queens initiative, they are preparing to march in the parade on Sunday, dressed in black, and carrying photographs of those who have been murdered in the Big Apple.
“It has been more than 50 years of struggle and resistance, and Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurstin Queens, we have become the center of the Latino LGBT community, but we still continue to feel manifestations of homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on a daily basis,” said the LGBTQ rights activist of the organization Make the Road NY. “That is why this year we are going to be wearing black, remembering the victims of violence, because it is important to celebrate, but not to forget how or why this movement was born, which did not begin as a celebration, but as a form of resistance. and today they are still killing and attacking us.”
The community leader, who runs a support group open to members of the community, who meet at least once a week, also highlighted the urgency for people to heterosexuals understand the value of diverse community.
“There is still a long way to go to make the community aware of the existence and contributions that we make LGBTQ people, some contributions from an immigrant community that has come to New York in search of more acceptance and less discrimination, where the keys are mutual respect and support,” said García. “We are not in the times when the community was quite repressed. It is time for transphobic and homophobic people to take a step so as not to remain stuck under the rock, thinking that they can do whatever they want against us, just because we want to love someone of the same gender. It is time to step on the accelerator and let it go towards another mentality.”
The leadership also warned that it is urgent that Albany do more and make the community a priority. LGBTQ.
“Politically we are taking giant steps in the community, but there is still a lack of action from the State of New York, which must provide more funds and resources to community organizations to provide LGBT support. It’s time for New York to take the initiative to support more, because there are so many people who need support, but the resources are short on mental health, health, housing issues for our community“, added the activist, highlighting progress in respect for the police, which still needs to go further.
“One of our great achievements in almost 10 years that I have been working with the community is having curbed police harassment a little. Before, in a single night, 20 or 30 members of our community were arrested here, and you don’t see that much anymore. You can now walk more freely, without the need to be harassed and profiled, but the fear persists and we need to make more progress on that”, concluded the trans woman.
Leo Felixa renowned artist within the LGBTQ community in Queens, took advantage of the celebration of Pride month to point out that greater protections are urgently needed, both in services and in security matters.
“The COVID pandemic It unleashed big problems throughout the city, not only for the LGBTQ community, but at all levels, but our people suffer much more, so we would like to see the authorities provide greater guarantees and protections for everyone,” said the Mexican, when time that highlighted that the union will be a flag to celebrate.
The young man, originally from Monterrey, said that something that happens inside the LGBTQ community it is that families and strong ties are created to help each other, which makes it less difficult for diverse immigrants to arrive and adapt to the Big Apple.
“I think that one of the most important things that we have is that real families are formed, where those who have just arrived can feel welcomed, valued and loved, because we all know that there is a lot of loneliness, and sometimes hard things that many people are going. And feeling that there is a family there, for them, not only for relaxation, but for everything that is needed, one feels much better”, commented the young man, referring to the Martinez-Cabrera family that more than 40 LGBTQ immigrants have formed.
David Kilmnickpresident and executive director of the LGBT Network, a non-profit organization that provides services in areas such as education, health, support and advocacy for LGBTQ individuals and families, mentioned that celebrating Pride in Queens this year has a special meaning.
“Thirty years ago, Queens Pride was started because of the brutal murder of Julio Rivera and the intense homophobia in our schools for teaching students about LGBT people. While we’ve made a lot of progress over the last three decades, Pride remains one of the biggest events our community has each year,” Kilmnick said. “Pride is about visibility and creating a place of safety and a sense of belonging and community for people who may not have it. It is about giving hope and celebrating our diverse cultures and identities. And it’s about a movement of people who are the fiercest, most resilient communities you’ll ever find.”
Former New York City Councilman and founder of Queens Pride, Danny Dromcalled for the LGBTQ community to be welcomed with the value it represents in the Big Apple.
“The last two years without Queens Pride have been difficult, but the future looks bright. New Queens Pride will bring us all together to celebrate our accomplishments and let everyone know that LGBTQIA people are their family, friends and neighbors,” said the Jackson Heights community leader.
Donovan Richards Jr.Queens Borough President, said celebrating LGBTQ Pride after what he called two “tumultuous” years is another opportunity to celebrate and honor the community.
Shekar Krishnancouncilor for Jackson Heights and Corona, also joined the call to celebrate this Sunday in Queens, and recognized the immense contribution of the LGBTQ community in the development of the city.
“I am excited that the Queens LGBTQIA Pride Parade and Festival is returning to the streets of Jackson Heights. His absence for the past two years has left a void that has been deeply felt by residents and visitors alike.”
Louis Cantilloa member of the LGBTQ community in Queens, who also has a group of family-style friends, was excited with the start of the Pride festivities, and assured that more than having a good time on an afternoon of celebrations, the date is the living testimony that the fight continues and it is necessary to raise your voice for the abuses that are still being committed against diverse people.
“Sunday and the whole month is a reason to party and go out to celebrate as a family, in our gay family, in our hetero community family who value us and love us, but it is also time to raise our voices to demand that we all Let’s unite around protection, to take care of each other because the difference makes us bigger and more beautiful, like the rainbowand it also makes us happier”, said the young Colombian.
Sonia Rodriguezwho describes herself as “proudly lesbian and respectful of any kind of love”, mentioned that celebrating Pride, which ends with the famous Manhattan parade on June 26, should serve to create more awareness among all New Yorkers on the value of respect and diversity.
“We are all human beings, different beings, diverse beings, and this date, which not only brings together gay and lesbian people, but also straight people who see us as the same, should serve us above all to educate the new generations, whom we must leave them the legacy that love and respect have no sex, gender or colorsand that you only attack others when your heart is empty,” said the Puerto Rican woman.
Facts about the New Queens Pride
- When: Sunday June 5
- Time: 12:00 p.m.
- Where: 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights
- What is celebrated: the 30th anniversary of the event
- It is the second oldest and largest parade in New York City
- If you want to be part of the Make the Road LGBTQ support group, you can call (718) 418 7690
- June 26 will be the Pride parade in Manhattan, which closes the month of commemoration