The streets of Jackson Heights will be filled with pride this weekend as the borough comes together to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community.
On Sunday, elected officials as well as supporters and members of the LGBTQ community from throughout the city will gather for the 22nd Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival hosted by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee.
Celebrating the accomplishments of the global LGBTQ community, the theme for this year’s event is “A World of Pride.” The theme will also emphasize the need to continue the attention on the struggles that still have to be addressed in regards to human rights, according to organizers.
Grand marshals for the parade include Queens council members Daniel Dromm, one of the founders of the parade in 1993, and Jimmy Van Bramer, who was the first elected official in the borough to get married after New York legalized same-sex marriage. Manhattan council members Corey Johnson, Rosie Mendez, Brooklyn Councilman Carlos Menchaca and Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres will also join the procession.
“Our grand marshals reflect how far we have come to be integral in our government, community and our visibility,” Queens Pride co-chair Chris Calvert said.
Melissa Sklarz, president of the Stonewall Democratic Club, will also be honored during the event for her leadership and as a transgender member of the community. Founded in 1986, the Stonewall Democratic Club is the first citywide LGBT Democratic organization in New York City.
The parade kicks off Sunday at noon at 84th Street and 37th Avenue and ends at 75th Street. The festival also begins at noon with about 100 vendors along 37th Road from 74th to 77th Street, performances and family-friendly entertainment.
For more information on the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee visit www.queenspride.org.