April 21, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
The organizers of the Queens Pride Parade have announced that they are canceling the popular June celebration in compliance with the Mayor’s decision Monday to suspend all June events.
The annual event was expected to take place in Jackson Heights on June 7 but organizers have confirmed that plans for a physical parade this year have been scrapped.
It comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled all parades, concerts, festivals and other nonessential events scheduled for June due to COVID-19.
The parade will now transition to a virtual celebration that will be hosted online in collaboration with the city’s other LGBTQ organizations – NYC Pride, Staten Island Pride, Bronx Pride, and Brooklyn Pride.
It marks the first time the parade has been canceled in 27 years but the decision was taken to protect all attendees and members of the LGBTQ community during the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said.
“The virus severely impacts the entirety of the LGBTQ community, but it specifically harms our transgender individuals of color, sex workers, and those living with HIV/AIDS,” Zachariah Boyer, Co-Chair of Queens Pride said.
“We must do all we can to keep members of our communities safe and healthy right now,” Boyer said.
Every year tens of thousands of borough residents gather along 37th Avenue – from 89th Street to 75th Street – to watch community groups, entertainers, local politicians and members of the public march in celebration of the LGBTQ community.
The event was co-founded by Council Member Daniel Dromm in 1993 after the death of Julio Rivera, a 29-year-old gay man who was killed in Jackson Heights as a result of a hate crime in 1990.
Dromm said that pride marches bring visibility to the LGBTQ community and that will continue in a safe and responsible manner this year.
Details surrounding the virtual parade will be announced over the coming weeks along with information on how people can participate, Queens Pride Parade organizers said.
The group also said that it will announce ways in which its members can participate in Global Pride on June 27. Global Pride is a 24-hour worldwide virtual event that will bring together LGBTQ organizations from across the world whose pride events have also been canceled due to COVID-19.