New York City Pride March takes a stand against attacks on LGBT rights

New York City Pride March takes a stand against attacks on LGBT rights

The New York City Pride March took place in Manhattan on Sunday (Pictures: Jessica Kwong/ Images)

Flags and personalities of all colors filled the streets of Manhattan for the New York City Pride March, drawing thousands of marchers and millions of spectators standing against growing threats to the LGBTQIA+ community.

The NYC Pride March, the biggest of its kind in the US, made history on Sunday by bringing its first-ever asexual grand marshal, British activist, writer and model Yasmin Benoit. 

After a string of rainbow-colored balloons and a marching band, Benoit and four other grand marshals each sitting in their own convertible car led the march from Fifth Avenue and 25th Street to Greenwich Village.

The march marks the June 1969 Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village by members of the gay community, that spurred the beginning of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

One of the New York Pride March grand marshals was Yasmin Benoit (Picture: Jessica Kwong/
Yasmin Benoit is a British asexual activist, writer and model (Picture: Jessica Kwong/

‘It was the most surreal experience of my life,’ Benoit, 27, of Reading, told of the honor of serving as a grand marshal.

Pride Month 2023

Pride Month is here, with members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies celebrating their identities, accomplishments, and reflecting on the struggle for equality throughout June.

This year, is exploring the theme of family, and what it means to the LGBTQ+ community.

Find our daily highlights below, and for our latest LGBTQ+coverage, visit our dedicated Pride page.

‘Just being out there with all those crowds, it was absolutely crazy.

‘When we reached Greenwich and we went past the Stonewall Inn, that was the first time that I’ve seen it in person, and that definitely hit me in the emotions to be part of this moment.’

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More than three-fourths of the 75,000 marchers are members of nonprofit organizations. Some of the estimated 2million spectators extended trays full of cups of water for the marchers.

The New York Pride March took place over six hours in Manhattan (Picture: Jessica Kwong/
Some spectators offered water to the marchers (Picture: Jessica Kwong/

Shortly before the march began at noon, NYC Pride co-chair Sue Doster welcomed the community to ‘what we believe is the best pride march in the world’.

‘Every year we select a theme and this year’s theme, through community submissions I might add, was Strength Through Solidarity – a very important poignant theme given what’s going on,’ Doster said during a morning press conference.

When the theme was announced a few months ago, there were about 200 anti-LGBTQI+ bills in state legislatures around the country.

‘That number has grown to nearly 600,’ said NYC Pride co-chair André Thomas ‘Our community is facing attacks – attacks against our youth, our trans family So we stand here in strength, in solidary, to show who we are against all those who stand against us.’

About 75,000 marchers participated in the annual celebration (Picture: Jessica Kwong/
The New York Pride March is the biggest of its kind in the US (Picture: Jessica Kwong/

NYC Pride executive director Sandra Pérez said the LGBTQIA+ has long known it is under attack.

‘I had a conversation this morning with one of our grand marshals and one of the things that we agreed on is that this is nothing new,’ said Pérez.

It was sunny and slightly overcast, a perfect summer day, throughout the six-hour march.

Some spectators were so enthused that they joined the march.

Augie McAllister (left) and Jacqueline Subramaniam (right) joined in on the NYC Pride March (Picture: Jessica Kwong/

‘I love Pride, it’s basically like Christmas to me and New Year’s,’ Augie McAllister, 28, who traveled from Philadelphia to attend for the ninth time, told

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‘It just marks the new year, of starting over and refreshing yourself, but also like Christmas, because it’s so f***ing fun.’

New Yorkers Dr Shelley Cahn, 37, her husband Jeff Cahn, 61, and their five-year-old son Sinai Cahn, marched then stood on the sidelines behind a sign that read, ‘We’ll love our son even if he’s straight’.

‘My favorite moment was marching down Fifth Avenue with my beautiful son, my wife, yelling loud and proud that we want him to be whatever he’s gonna be,’ Jeff told

Dr Shelley Cahn (left), her husband Jeff Cahn (right) and their son Sinai Cahn (middle) marched and then watched the NYC Pride March (Picture: Jessica Kwong/

The family have attended the march ever since Shelley was pregnant with Sinai.

‘That that year, the sign said, “We only know the sex, not the gender”, so he’s always had permission to be whatever he wants to be,’ Shelley told

NYC Pride March is ‘absolutely’ her favorite celebration of the year.

‘I wait for it all year,’ she said. ‘It’s the most important one.’

  • June 25, 2023