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Queens Pride to celebrate its 30th anniversary in Jackson Heights next month

Queens Pride
The Queens Pride Parade and Festival returns to full strength in Jackson Heights next month with Council Speaker Adrienne Adams serving as grand marshal. (QNS/File)

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are expected to fill the streets of Jackson Heights for the 30th annual Queens Pride Parade and Festival, one of the city’s largest celebrations on LGBTQ rights and advocacy, on Sunday, June 5.

LGBT Network President David Kilmnick announced that City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams will headline the event as grand marshal, along with nonprofit advocacy organizations Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo and the Caribbean Equality Project.

Queens Pide
QNS/Flie

The parade will remember Julio Rivera, a gay Latino man who lived and worked in Jackson Heights when he was set upon by a three-man “hunting party” from a skinhead gang, and brutally murdered in 1990 in a tragic incident that sparked the coming out of New York’s largest and until then mostly closeted LGBT community. Rivera was the first crime against a member of the LGBTQ community tried as a hate crime in New York state.

“I am thrilled to announce our grand marshals for the 30th anniversary of Queens Pride,” Kilmnick said. “Speaker Adams has been a longtime champion for the rights of the LGBT community and her advocacy has been unmatched. We are proud to commemorate three decades of activism in the borough, which emerged out of tragedy, and has now become a symbol for pride in the city, state and nation.”

Queens Pride
QNS/Flie

The LGBT Network took over the leadership of the Queens Pride multicultural festivities in January. Joining Adams will be founders and many organizers and marchers from the first Queens Pride Parade in 1992.

“I am deeply honored to serve as grand marshal for the 30th anniversary celebration of Queens Pride,” Adams said. “Our beautiful and diverse LGBT community deserves to be supported, uplifted and celebrated. For the last three decades, the Queens Pride Parade has provided a safe space for authentic expression of pride, visibility, acceptance and empowerment. I congratulate my fellow grand marshals, Collection Intercultural TRANSgrediendo and the Caribbean Equality Project and LGBT Network and I look forward to celebrating Queens Pride with all New Yorkers on June 5.”

Queens Pride
QNS/Flie

The Queens Pride Parade and Festival would draw crowds of more than 50,000 spectators, but it was held virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic and the event was hampered by an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases last spring. Now, the LGBT Network is expecting the largest celebration in its 30-year history.

The LGBT Network created a new Community Advisory Council chaired by former Jackson Height Councilman Daniel Dromm, who co-founded Queens Pride, and he will join the grand marshals when the parade steps off at noon.

“Adrienne Adams’ commitment to the LGBTQIA communities is vitally strong. She along with Colectivo TRANSgrediendo and Caribbean Equality Project represents the diversity of the LGBTQIA movement,” Dromm said. “Their work to make the world more accepting is truly commendable. It’s a good reminder that LGBTQIA people are everywhere. We are your family, friends and neighbors. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on June 5, 2022, on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights when Queens Pride returns.”

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