Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Jackson Heights to host 22nd annual Queens Pride Parade


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

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.

 

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NYPD investigating South Ozone Park attack as hate crime


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of 106th Precinct

A Far Rockaway man was struck with a trophy outside of a bar, resulting in several medical staples to his head. He said he was attacked because he is gay.

“The bouncer let my basher run before the cops came,” said Zaman Mohamed Amin, the victim and a well-known figure in the LGBTQ community, on his Facebook page. “I received seven staples in my head.”

The incident, on Sunday, June 23, involved two victims, allegedly attacked in front of Players Restaurant and Bar in South Ozone Park. LGBTQ’s Anti-Violence Project (AVP) said they were both hit in the head with the trophy and verbally attacked by several unidentified people. Amin was sent to Long Island Jewish Hospital, where he received treatment for the laceration on his forehead.

“I am out of the hospital, even [stronger] now than ever, and ready to take this community and fight for my LGBTQ rights,” he said.

The NYPD told the AVP they are looking into the incident as a hate-motivated attack.

“Hate crimes must stop,” Amin said. “No one gives another person the right to hit another. We are all children of God no matter our race, sexual orientation, color of our skin, religion or gender.”

A man who identified himself as a manager at Players Restaurant and Bar said he could not comment on the attack.

 

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Queens holds 21st Pride Parade


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Colorful flags and smiling faces were filled with pride as they took to the streets in Jackson Heights to celebrate the borough’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community.

On June 2, elected officials, supporters and members of the LGBTQ community from throughout the city gathered for the 21st Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival hosted by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee.

“In light of the recent hate crimes, we are sending a clear message that we are never going back in the closet and we have a lot to celebrate,” said Councilmember Daniel Dromm, who helped found the parade in 1993.

Dromm was joined by fellow openly gay colleagues Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Van Bramer was the first elected official in the borough to get married after New York legalized same-sex marriage.

“It was really supported by the community,” said Dromm. “Parents brought their kids, and on all sides of the parade route people were clapping and cheering.”

The parade, which kicked off at 85th Street and 37th Avenue, is the second-largest LGBTQ pride celebration in New York.

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE PRIDE PARADE

The grand marshals for this year’s parade included openly gay pro boxer Orlando Cruz and PRYDE, the LGBTQ Justice Project of Make the Road NY.

The festival, which drew protesters decades ago, now brings thousands of onlookers who shout positive reactions and showed their full support.

“People are waving, there is a happy atmosphere going down 37th Avenue,” said Anne Quashen, president of the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Queens Chapter. “You don’t feel any animosity or any hatred, you feel a community coming together.”

Participants marching in the parade ranged from cheerleaders with Cheer New York to four-legged supporters who marched and waved their tails alongside the bright rainbow flags.

“This is my first time at the parade and it’s such a unique experience,” said Nestor Rojas, 24, of Jackson Heights. “It’s really great to see so many people get together and just accept one another.”

 

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