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NYC Pride March
Facade of the Stonewall Inn, adorned in numerous rainbow flags for the announcement of the site being designated a National Monument.
The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village was the site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots. That event in New York City's queer history has served as a touchstone for various social movements, as well as the catalyst for Pride parades around the world. [1] [2] [3]
FrequencyAnnually, last Sunday in June
Location(s)New York City, U.S.
InauguratedJune 28, 1970 (1970-06-28), as part of Christopher Street Liberation Day
Next eventJune 29, 2025 (2025-06-29)
Organized by Heritage of Pride, since 1984
Millions of spectators gather every June for the New York City Pride March, seen here in 2022.

The NYC Pride March is an annual event celebrating the LGBTQ community in New York City. The largest pride parade and the largest pride event in the world, the NYC Pride March attracts tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June, [4] [5] and carries spiritual and historical significance for the worldwide LGBTQIA+ community and its advocates. Entertainer Madonna stated in 2024, "Aside from my birthday, New York Pride is the most important day of the year." [6] The route through Lower Manhattan traverses south on Fifth Avenue, through Greenwich Village, passing the Stonewall National Monument, [7] site of the June 1969 riots that launched the modern movement for LGBTQ+ rights.

A central component of NYC Pride observances, the March occurs on the last Sunday in June. [8] An estimated four million attended the parade in 2019, [9] coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, which drew five million visitors to Manhattan on Pride weekend. [10]


Early on the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people rioted, following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar at 53 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan. This event, together with further protests and rioting over the following nights, marked a watershed moment in the modern LGBT rights movement and the impetus for organizing LGBT pride marches on a much larger scale. Veterans of the riot formed a group, the Stonewall Veterans Association, which has continued to drive the advancement of LGBT rights from the rioting at the Stonewall Inn, to the present day.

In the weeks following the riots, 500 people gathered for a "Gay Power" demonstration in Washington Square Park, followed by a march to Sheridan Square within the West Village. [11] [12]

On November 2, 1969, Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes proposed an annual march to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) meeting in Philadelphia. [13]

We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration.

We also propose that we contact Homophile organizations throughout the country and suggest that they hold parallel demonstrations on that day. We propose a nationwide show of support. [14] [15] [16] [17]

Button promoting the second annual pride march in 1971.

All attendees to the ERCHO meeting in Philadelphia voted for the march except for Mattachine Society of New York, which abstained. [14] Members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) attended the meeting and were seated as guests of Rodwell's group, Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN). [18]

Meetings to organize the march began in early January at Rodwell's apartment in 350 Bleecker Street. [19] At first there was difficulty getting some of the major New York City organizations like Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) to send representatives. Craig Rodwell and his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, Michael Brown, Marty Nixon, and Foster Gunnison Jr. of Mattachine made up the core group of the CSLD Umbrella Committee (CSLDUC). For initial funding, Gunnison served as treasurer and sought donations from the national homophile organizations and sponsors, while Sargeant solicited donations via the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop customer mailing list and Nixon worked to gain financial support from GLF in his position as treasurer for that organization. [20] [21] Other mainstays of the organizing committee were Judy Miller, Jack Waluska, Steve Gerrie and Brenda Howard of GLF. [22] Believing that more people would turn out for the march on a Sunday, and so as to mark the date of the start of the Stonewall uprising, the committee scheduled the date for the first march for Sunday, June 28, 1970. [23] With Dick Leitsch's replacement as president of Mattachine NY by Michael Kotis in April 1970, opposition to the march by Mattachine ended. [24]

There was little open animosity, and some bystanders applauded when a tall, pretty girl carrying a sign "I am a Lesbian" walked by. – The New York Times coverage of Gay Liberation Day, 1970 [25]

Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970, marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a march from Sheridan Square, covering the 51 blocks to the Sheep Meadow in Central Park. The march took less than half the scheduled time due to excitement, but also due to wariness about walking through the city with gay banners and signs. Although the parade permit was delivered only two hours before the start of the march, participants encountered little resistance from onlookers. [26] The New York Times reported (on the front page) that the march extended for about 15 city blocks. [25] Reporting by The Village Voice was positive, describing "the out-front resistance that grew out of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn one year ago". [27] There was also an assembly on Christopher Street.


The first March in 1970 was organized by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee. [28] Since 1984, the parade and related LGBT pride events in New York City have been produced and organized by Heritage of Pride (HOP), a volunteer spearheaded, non-partisan, tax-exempt, non-profit organization. [29] HOP welcomes participation regardless of age, creed, gender, gender identification, HIV status, national origin, physical, mental or developmental ability, race, or religion. HOP does not use qualifiers for participation.

In 2021, NYC Pride organizers announced that uniformed law enforcement would be banned from marching in the parade until 2025, when the ban will be reexamined by committees and the executive board of NYC Pride. [30] [31]

Rainbow striped crosswalk at the corner of 7th Ave. and Christopher St.


For many years, the march was only available locally to Time Warner Cable customers, via its NY1 news channel. In 2017 WABC-TV broadcast the NYC LGBT Pride March live for the first time regionally, and made the stream available to all parts of the globe where such content is accessible. [32] [33] WABC-TV continues to broadcast the first three hours of each years march (which has had an actual run time over nine hours in 2017 and 2018). Both the 2017 and 2018 broadcasts were Emmy nominated programs. In 2022, the WABC-TV broadcast was also available via streaming from ABC News Live and Hulu.


Over the course of five decades, various groups have accused the NYC Pride March of losing its political, activist roots and becoming a venue for corporate pinkwashing, rainbow capitalism, and assimilation of queer identities. [34] Such critiques have given rise to various independent events conducted without permits or police. Since 1993 the NYC Dyke March has been held annually on the Saturday prior. [35] Since 1994 the New York City Drag March has been held annually on the Friday prior; it began as a protest against the ban on leather and drag during the 25th anniversary of Stonewall. [36] [37] Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall in 2019, the Reclaim Pride Coalition organized the first Queer Liberation March, held on Sunday morning, hours before the NYC Pride parade. [38] [39]


The first march, in 1970, was front-page news in The New York Times reporting the march extended for about fifteen city blocks. [25] The march had thousands of participants with organizers "who said variously 3,000 and 5,000 and even 20,000." [25] The variance could be due, in part, that although the march started with over a dozen homosexual and feminist contingents, parade spectators were encouraged to join the procession. [25] Currently, Heritage of Pride requires preregistration of marchers, and sets up barricades along the entire route discouraging the practice. [40]

Although estimating crowd size is an imprecise science, the NYC March is consistently considered the largest Pride parade in the U.S., with 2.1 million people in 2015, and 2.5 million in 2016. [41] In 2018, attendance was estimated around two million. [42] In 2019, as part of Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC, up to five million people took part over the final weekend of the celebrations, [43] [44] with an estimated four million in attendance at the parade. [9] [45] The twelve-hour parade included 150,000 pre-registered participants among 695 groups. [46] It was the largest parade of any kind in the city's history and four times as large as the annual Times Square Ball on New Year's Eve. [47]

Grand marshals



Moment during the 2022 NYC Pride march.


2019: Stonewall 50




Moment during the 2015 NYC Pride march.





  • Cyndi Lauper ; Chris Salgardo of Kiehl's ; Connie Kopelov & Phyllis Siegel, New York City's first legally married same-sex couple [60]
Moment during the 2011 NYC Pride march.



2009: Stonewall 40


See also


  1. ^ Julia Goicochea (August 16, 2017). "Why New York City Is a Major Destination for LGBT Travelers". The Culture Trip. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Eli Rosenberg (June 24, 2016). "Stonewall Inn Named National Monument, a First for the Gay Rights Movement". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  3. ^ "Workforce Diversity The Stonewall Inn, National Historic Landmark National Register Number: 99000562". National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  4. ^ "Revelers Take To The Streets For 48th Annual NYC Pride March". CBS New York. June 25, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017. A sea of rainbows took over the Big Apple for the biggest pride parade in the world Sunday.
  5. ^ Dawn Ennis (May 24, 2017). "ABC will broadcast New York's pride parade live for the first time". LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved September 26, 2018. Never before has any TV station in the entertainment and news media capital of the world carried what organizer boast is the world's largest Pride parade live on TV.
  6. ^ Brendan Morrow (June 30, 2024). "Madonna celebrates NYC Pride at queer music fest: 'Most important day of the year'". USA Today. Retrieved July 7, 2024. Thank you all for coming out," Madonna told the crowd, according to a video shared on social media. "Aside from my birthday, New York Pride is the most important day of the year." She concluded, "Thank you all, New York City. Without you, I am nothing.
  7. ^ Riley, John (March 20, 2019). "NYC Pride announces route for WorldPride NYC 2019/Stonewall 50 Pride March". Metro Weekly. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "". January 6, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  9. ^ a b O'Doherty, Cahir (July 4, 2019). "Irish march at historic World Pride in New York City". Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  10. ^ About 5 million people attended WorldPride in NYC, mayor says Accessed July 3, 2019.
  11. ^ Black, Jonathan (July 31, 1969). "In the Wake of Stonewall: Gay Power Hits Back". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "Celebrate at the Stonewall 50 Commemoration". WorldPride 2019 Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  13. ^ Sargeant, Fred (June 22, 2010). "1970: A First-Person Account of the First Gay Pride March". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Carter, p. 230
  15. ^ Marotta, pp. 164–165
  16. ^ Teal, pp. 322–323
  17. ^ Duberman, pp. 255, 262, 270–280
  18. ^ Duberman, p. 227
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  36. ^ "Hundreds of Drag Queens Fill the NYC Streets Every Year for this Drag March". HuffPost. June 25, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
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