LGBTQ Advocates Lament ‘Heartbreaking’ Cancellation Of NYC’s Pride Parade

Hopes that New York City’s LGBTQ Pride Parade would move forward amid the coronavirus crisis were crushed this week when organizers announced that the event had been canceled. 

Heritage of Pride, which hosts the parade and related festivities, said Monday that this year’s roster of in-person LGBTQ Pride events ― originally slated for June 14-28 ― would not take place as planned.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the news at a press conference, listing the LGBTQ Pride Parade alongside the Puerto Rican Day Parade and the Salute to Israel Parade as among the large-scale gatherings scrapped for June. 

“This probably will not surprise you,” he said. “It’s not a happy announcement, but it’s one we have to make.”

New York joins a growing list of U.S. cities ― including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington ― that have canceled or postponed in-person Pride festivities for the year. 

For advocates, the New York cancellation was particularly stinging, given that the city is the home to the Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 uprising cited as the symbolic start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. 

As of Monday afternoon, 136,806 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, were reported across New York’s five boroughs, making it the most impacted of any U.S. city. 

Despite understanding the cancellation, many nonetheless lamented the news on social media. 

Others offered more encouraging messages, stressing that Pride began as a protest and, as such, its spirit would endure even in self-isolation. 

A number of LGBTQ advocacy groups have announced virtual celebrations to take place in the coming weeks. 

Cyndi Lauper, Troye Sivan and Rufus Wainwright will perform Thursday on  “Stonewall Gives Back!,” a live-streamed concert benefitting LGBTQ-owned nightspots and businesses affected by the coronavirus economic shutdown. On April 26, GLAAD will host “Together in Pride: You are Not Alone,” a live-stream event featuring musical guests Kesha and Melissa Etheridge, as well as appearances by Billy Eichner, Dan Levy and Kathy Griffin. 

Though details were scarce, Heritage of Pride announced plans for a 24-hour “Global Pride” virtual event, set to take place on June 27. 

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