Tag Archives: Parents

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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| jlane@queenscourier.com

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

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Dangerous drop-off in Howard Beach


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Some parents in Howard Beach are worried about getting their children to and from school in one piece.

Parents of children who attend P.S. 232 said the intersection between 153rd Avenue and 83rd Street — between the school and the Waldbaum’s across the street — is so “extremely dangerous” that they worry for their children’s safety as well as their own.

“The cars don’t stop. They just keep going. They don’t care if the kids are crossing,” said parent Cynthia Loureiro. “I don’t even cross on this corner. I go out of my way to the other corner. That’s how dangerous it is.”

There is no stop sign or traffic light at the intersection, but the NYPD posts a crossing guard there during the morning drop-off and afternoon dismissal.

“You have to fear for her life,” Loureiro said of the crossing guard. “That’s how bad the cars are.”

Parents also expressed frustration at the double — and sometimes even triple — parked cars on 83rd Street in front of the school. But even more frustrating and terrifying, according to parent Laura Vontoussaint, is what some parents do to avoid parking at all.

“The parents drop the kids off in the middle of the street. It just happened this morning [on Tuesday, September 20]. A lady opened up her doors at the yellow line and tried to let her child out in the middle of the intersection,” Vontoussaint said.

Despite rumors, the NYPD said they will not shut down 83rd Street during afternoon dismissals at 2:15 p.m.

“It has never been an accident-prone location,” said Kenneth Zorn, Community Affairs Officer for the 106th Precinct. “The numbers of accidents don’t match up to the complaints.”

Principal Lisa Josephson was unavailable for comment.

“You need a stop light. That’s the best thing for the safety of everyone– the kids, the parents and the crossing guard,” Vontoussaint said.