Queens Pride Parade returns after 2-year pandemic hiatus

Pride Month is in full swing in New York City, as thousands of people gathered for the 30th annual Queens Pride Parade.

Organizers say the parade, which made its triumphant return this year after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the most diverse and inclusive parades across New York City.

Mayor Eric Adams kicked off the festivities, as the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band and revelers made their way along 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights to show their pride. 

"I'm so proud to be here," said Daniel Dromm, the parade's founder and a former New York City Councilmember. "How much change has happened over those last 30 years is just fantastic… we're out, loud and proud in the borough of Queens."

The parade is the second oldest and second-largest of its kind in New York City and was inaugurated in 1993 after Julio Rivera, a gay Puerto Rican bartender, was murdered in Jackson Heights by three men. 

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell also marched in this year's parade along with members of the NYPD's Gay Officers Action League. Uniformed NYPD officers were banned from the New York City Pride parade in 2021 due to ongoing tensions between law enforcement and some parts of the LGBTQ community.