New York Pride: Bumper crowds attend LGBT march – BBC News

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Hundreds of thousands of revellers have thronged the streets of New York for WorldPride, one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the world.

Around 150,000 people took part in the march, 50 years on from the Stonewall riots, with many more watching.

The riots, after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, helped to energise the fight for gay equality. This year’s march started outside the inn.

It was billed as the biggest Pride march in history.

LGBT groups held similar marches in other countries to mark the occasion, illustrating the global shift in attitudes towards gay rights.

WorldPride brings together lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from all over the world to participate in a parade, rally and human rights conference. The event was last held in Lisbon in Portugal in 2017.

The New York march is the first WorldPride march to be held in the US.

This year’s main parade – around 2.5 miles (4km) long – passed many LGBT landmarks, including the Stonewall National Monument and the New York City Aids memorial.

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio joined the march outside the Stonewall Inn.

A smaller Queer Liberation March and Rally was also held. The organiser, the Reclaim Pride Coalition, says that pride events, including the one in New York, have become too commercialised.

In a statement, the group said the alternative march was returning “this event to the people, celebrating our victories and recommitting to fight our current battles”.

The New York Pride event was due to conclude with the WorldPride closing ceremony featuring performances from musical “The Prom.”

San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle were also hosting their own events.

Fifty years of positive change

By Ben Hunte, BBC LGBT correspondent

This has been a weekend like no other. New York has always been a major destination for LGBT pride festivals – but this weekend’s events have been its biggest yet.

There is a message of inclusion and equality that can be felt across the city, despite the presence of the two duelling pride parades.

The LGBT community has experienced so much positive change within the past 50 years and today activists are wondering what the next 50 years could bring. However, it is worth remembering that a weekend like this would still not be welcome in several cities in the United States and in many countries across the world.

Amid a sea of rainbow flags – the symbol of the LGBT movement – joyous scenes abounded in New York, with characters as colourful as the costumes.

But some of those taking part were in a more reflective mood, showing gratitude to those in the LGBT movement whose activism made parades such as this possible.

“It’s hard for us today, but can you even imagine what some of these people went through in the past?,” Josh Greenblatt, a 25-year-old actor who took part in the march, said.

“There’s no way to thank them other than to express ourselves fully, truly and wholeheartedly, and to lift each other up while we do it.”

An LGBT rally in the Turkish capital, however, ended with police using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

The Istanbul event had been banned by Turkish authorities for the fifth year running, but several hundred demonstrators showed up anyway.

Elsewhere, North Macedonia held its first gay pride march on Saturday, while in Singapore, marchers called for scrapping a law banning gay sex.


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