May 27, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
City Council member Daniel Dromm kicked off Pride Month on Monday with his annual LGBT Pride celebration at Queens Center Mall.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was honored at the event, which was also attended by Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Council Member Karen Koslowitz and former State Senator Tom Duane.
Johnson, who is currently running for City Comptroller, is openly gay and HIV positive. He spoke about his struggle coming to terms with his medical condition, as well as his passion for the LGBT community.
Dromm, who, like Johnson, is in his final term in city council, hailed their progress in advancing legislation and allocating city funds to benefit the LGBTQ community.
The pair were able to allocate $2.8 million toward the Trans Equity Program Initiative, which established the first program set up for the exclusive benefit of the transgender community. The initiative also included funds for LGBT curriculum at public schools.
“Because of Corey’s position as the Speaker of the City Council we have given record levels of funding to LGBTQ organizations,” Dromm said. “I am proud to honor Corey Johnson because he has done so much for LGBTQ rights in the past three years.”
The organizations represented at the event included the Stonewall Community Development Corp., Asian/Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS and AIDS Center of Queens County.
The event included a musical performance by J. Hoard, a Brooklyn-based artist whose credits include writing and singing on Chance the Rapper’s Grammy award-winning album “Coloring Book.”
The Pride event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was streamed on Facebook Live for the first time this year.
The event was presented by Dromm, Flushing Town Hall, and the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.
Pride Month takes place in June.