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Queens Borough Hall adorned with pride flag to mark monthlong celebration of gay rights

Queens Borough Hall Pride Flag
The pride flag was raised at Borough Hall Wednesday, June 1, to mark a monthlong celebration of the gay rights movement. (Photos by Adrian Childress)

With tens of thousands of spectators expected to pour into Jackson Heights Sunday to celebrate the 30th anniversary Queens Pride Parade and Festival, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards hosted a pride flag raising event on Wednesday, June 1, at Borough Hall to kick off the festivities.

“There is no place on the planet like Queens during Pride Month, as the ‘World’s Borough’ joyously celebrates our dynamic LGBTQIA+ communities and our bedrock principles of love and pride,” Richards said. No matter who or how you love or how you identify, you have a home here in Queens. This month and every month, we not only celebrate our LGBTQIA+ neighbors, we reaffirm our pledge to defend the basic human rights of all our residents, regardless of gender, orientation or identity.”

Queens Borough Hall Pride Flag
Brough President Donovan Richards said it’s time to celebrate progress. (Photo by Adrian Childress)

Dr. David Kilmnick, the president and CEO of LGBT Network, the nonprofit that took over the leadership of the Queens Pride multicultural festivities in January, joined Richards at Borough Hall.

“Who could imagine a day where we’d be walking through the doors of Borough Hall to see this kind of progress with the pride flag up?” Kilmnick said. “Today is special for me as I was that little 8-year-old kid, that 13-year-old kid that used to come to Queens Borough Hall all the time with my grandmother, and now to see the flag up here because of the leadership of our borough president, and many of our Queens delegation, makes me especially proud.”

Richards and Deputy Borough President Ebony Young will host the Pride Month Celebration in the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall on Monday, June 13, at 6 p.m. The event will honor LGBTQIA+ leaders for their “invaluable contributions” in the fight for true equity and inclusion in Queens and beyond. Some of the leaders to be honored include GLITS Executive Director Ceyenne Doroshow, Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Dirk McCall and The Ali Forney Center and Queens Center for Gay Seniors.

“Queens is Pride in every sense of the word,” Young said. “The Queens borough president’s office is going to unabashedly celebrate this month, and I can’t wait to see how residents from across this borough will showcase what pride means to them.”

Throughout the month of June, Richards and his team will be joining parades, including the New Queens Pride Parade in Jackson Heights.

“I’m proud to represent the most diverse county in the country and that diversity extends to our LGBTQIA+ community,” Richards said. “People from all walks of life, and from all corners of the world, come here to Queens because, in this borough, you can live your truth and be exactly who you are. Queens is pride and we embody those bedrock principles of pride and unconditional love for all of our neighbors, regardless of who or how they love or how they identify.”

Queens Borough Hall Pride Flag
Photo by Adrian Childress

Since taking office, Richards has prioritized increasing the diversity on each of the 14 community boards across the borough to make them more reflective of the communities they serve.

“We’ve diversified our community boards and doubled the number of members who identify as LGBTQIA+ over my administration,” Richards said. “Today, it’s all about celebrating our pride in who we are as a people, whether you’re gay, queer, trans or anything else. Today we celebrate the progress we’ve made and the progress that still lies ahead of us.”

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