Queens Pride parade returns after 2-year COVID hiatus

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) -- Rainbows once again filled 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights after Queens Pride had a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Mayor Eric Adams was front and center at the Queens Pride Parade...along with City Council Speaker and Grand Marshall Adrianna Adams.

"We are all loud and proud and celebrating everything that is wonderful about our Queens," Adrianna Adams said.

The LGBT Network organized the 30th annual parade for Queens residents.

Queens Pride was started ago after the brutal beating and murder of Julia Rivera a gay man attacked by three white men in a Queens schoolyard.

The parade serves as a reminder of all of the progress that's been made, and all the work that still needs to be done for LGBTQ+ rights.

"Pride is about visibility and creating a place of safety and a sense of belonging and community for people who may not have it," said Doctor David Kilmnick the President and CEO of LGBT Network. "It is about giving hope and celebrating our diverse cultures and identities. And it is about a movement of people who are the most fierce and resilient communities one will ever encounter."

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For the first time in three years, the march returns to a fully in-person event. The theme is "Unapologetically Us."

It is one of the most inclusive pride celebrations in the five boroughs with the NYPD taking part.

Organizers of the march in Manhattan later this month, have banned officers in uniform from taking part in the past.

The Gay Officer Action League marched alongside other Queens residents.

"It shows the community that there are people on the inside fighting for them and important to remind the agencies we represent that we're here, we're queer, not going anywhere and have to deal with us," Brian Downey from GOAL said.

The parade stepped off at noon near 37th Avenue and 89th Street.

Over 50,000 New Yorkers turned out to celebrate pride and show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

"I'm seeing, it's very welcoming and showing how diversity is important and we can all come together and be as one," spectator David Kilmnick said.

The LGBT Network will also host Pride Night at Citi Field on June 17.

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The LGBTQIA+ community is multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-faith and multidimensional. Watch "Our America: Who I'm Meant To Be."

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