New York City knows how to throw a party—and for World Pride Weekend, the city gave a rainbow-fueled celebration for its LGBTQ community, who were out in force to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, widely considered the start of the modern queer liberation movement.
Starting with the anniversary of the riots on Friday and ending with Sunday’s annual Pride March, it was a celebration of life, love, and liberty in New York City. From its traditional march down Fifth Avenue to the West Village to “Pride Island” at the city’s Pier 97, where Grace Jones, Teyana Taylor, and Madonna all gave concerts, this year’s headquarters of World Pride paid tribute to the ongoing progress and struggles of LGBTQ people at home and abroad.
Along with the revelry, there were many moments of reverence, including honoring those who first bravely fought back against police at Stonewall, the frightening number of trans women of color killed annually, and those members of the LGBTQ community lost to gun violence; somber reminders that the fight is far from over.
But as always, there was profound joy and, yes, Pride. Billy Porter once again outdid himself in a rainbow tulle ball gown by Christian Siriano to serve as grand marshal for the festivities along with fellow cast members of Pose, while Alicia Keys, Whoopi Goldberg, Wendy Williams and more all made appearances in support of the community.
The message? To paraphrase the famous words of vintage Virginia Slims campaigns, We’ve come a long way, baby. But the fight for queer liberation takes more than an annual celebration; 50 years after Stonewall, equality remains a work in progress.