Celebrating Stonewall 50: A look back at NYC Pride 2019

Over the weekend, NYC Pride welcomed WorldPride, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. It was the first time the global LGBTQ celebration was held in the U.S. and will go down as the largest one in history. 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration

Event organizers and city officials said 150,000 parade marchers and over 4 million visitors descended upon the city to celebrate with endless parties, panels, events, Madonna at Pride Island, and of course, the annual Pride March on Sunday, June 30. 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration
Rainbow neon sign at Stonewall Inn

Have a look back at some of the highlights of my NYC Pride 2019 trip. 

Macy’s, a longtime LGBTQ supporter, held their annual pride + joy celebration on Tuesday, June 25. The colorful soiree kicked off with the Changemakers Awards Ceremony.  Where they honor the exceptional recipients for the significant contributions they have made to the LGBTQ community and their dedication to promoting respect for all. 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration
Aquaria and Jorge Gallegos at Macy’s pride + joy celebration

Following the ceremony, attendees got the chance to mix and mingle with the 2019 Changemakers Awards honorees while enjoying over the top performances from Aquaria and New Orleans Bounce artists Big Freedia. With Instagramable activations all around, specialty cocktails, light bites and more, it was definitely the best way to celebrate the countdown to NYC Pride 2019. 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration

On Wednesday, June 26, the official Opening Ceremony of WorldPride at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, was a monumental benefit concert. With proceeds from ticket sales supporting the  Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE. The event was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, and attendees enjoyed performances from an incredible line-up of artists. From Cyndi Lauper and Chaka Khan to Ciara and Toddrick Hall. 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration
Whoopi Goldberg at WorldPride Opening Ceremony

On Thursday, June 27, the Airbnb WorldPride pop-up presented the panel Life as an LGBTQ+ Athlete: Discussions with Gus Kenworthy and Jason Collins. The Olympic skier and former NBA player talked about their coming out experiences, reflected on the current climate for LGBTQ athletes, and stated their opinion on the corporatization of pride. Moderating the intimate conversation in the Meatpacking District was Ashland Johnson, Director of Public Education and Research at HRC. 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration

On Saturday, June 29, I joined HBO & Christopher Street Tours for a fun and informative Wig Walk – a Drag History Tour of NYC’s most iconic drag history landmarks. The tour highlighted HBO’s new feature documentary, WIG, sharing stories of New York City’s drag queens, while discussing ways that drag has helped to inform the ways we understand queerness, art, and identity today. Site visits included the historic Washington Square Park, Stonewall Inn, the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, ending with cocktails at Cowgirl Hall of Fame, well-known for it’s Tex-Mex cuisine and  Patsy Cline look-alike contest. 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration

The energy on Sunday, June 30, leading up to the Pride March was fascinating. I’ve never seen so many people come together like that… Rainbows everywhere, makeup, glitter, gender non-conforming ensembles, it was truly exhilarating.  

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration

The march lasted for 12 hours, and I couldn’t have had a better viewing spot – thanks for hosting Fossil.  But honestly, this whole Pride month has been a rollercoaster of traveling, parties, and emotions. Personally, I’m so proud of who I’ve become, and I have to thank New York for that… because New York City is the place that taught me how to be comfortable in my own skin and to not be afraid of expressing myself.

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration

But if anything, WorldPride reminded me that the fight isn’t over. Eleven black trans women have been murdered this year, and LGBTQ rights are still being challenged in some countries – including the U. S. As we celebrate the resistance of those in the Stonewall riots, let us also make our demands known: pick up your phone, call your representatives, get out and vote, and support queer, trans and non-binary folks.  #stonewallwasariot 

NYC Pride 2019: A Stonewall 50 Grandiose and Global Celebration

Jorge Gallegos

Not just a pretty face

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Author: manchic

Former Graphic Designer, Official GUESS One to Watch Blogger, Underwear and Menswear Blogger, Social Media Guy for several Gay Dating Sites including GuySpy.com and FindGayDaddy.com and the ultimate Party Boy Extraordinaire. Follow my adventures on Twitter and Instagram @manchic.

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