CULTURE

NYC Pride Weekend 2022 Was a Celebration of Solidarity

“The fact that Roe v. Wade just got overturned is proof that we need to take up space and be as loud and proud as we’ve ever been in our lives!”

Photography by Serichai Traipoom

A person holding a rainbow fan at Pride weekend.

For the first time in two years, New York City’s Pride month which culminated in the Pride March on Sunday June 26, was supposed to be perfectly normal. And while thousands of members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community did indeed loudly and proudly celebrate, a cloud hung over the many gatherings across the city. Two days earlier, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, both making abortion illegal and calling into question what other liberties the decidedly conservative justices would go after next. In his concurring opinion, Clarence Thomas made it clear that he envisions an America in which the rationale used to take away Roe applies to removing the right to same-sex marriage and even consensual same-sex “relations.”

For many, the weekend’s events weren’t just a distraction. They were also a reminder of the immense strength, size, and joy of the LGBTQ+ community—and of how, 53 years after the Stonewall Uprising, human rights are still very much under threat. Here, attendees at Sunday’s Pride March, Gitano Island Pride, and Ladyfag’s latest Battle Hymn party discuss why this year’s festivities felt more important than ever.

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“The fact that Roe v. Wade just got overturned is proof that we need to take up space and be as loud and proud as we’ve ever been in our lives! It starts there, but baby, they are literally coming for everyone. We need to stand up for women; we need to stand up for people with uteruses. We need to stand up for what’s right. So I think this Pride is the most important Pride that we have ever experienced. We’re finally out of lockdown, and we have something to fight for times 10.” —Gottmik

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m here to show support for the kids. I was telling my friend how we couldn’t get away with this when we were their age. My moms were lesbians, and even then I couldn’t come out like this. I’m loving that this younger generation can feel comfortable and accepted. That is one of the most beautiful things.” —Joe Mode

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“This is actually my first Pride—I’ve never gone to the parade or anything, so I was just so excited to come out and celebrate. I feel like it’s really just about being proud of who you are and acknowledging that you should be proud of yourself. With everything going on in the news and politics, I feel like this is an extremely important and special Pride.” —Randy McCowan

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“We're in a very tumultuous, disgusting time in history. And at this point, one of the biggest forms of protest is having joy and a great time.” —Dylan Mekhi

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“The highlight [of this Pride] has been working with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center... and Jean Paul Gaultier!” —Gigi Goode

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m angry about a lot of things, obviously including the Supreme Court. But at the same time, we have to keep going. We have to have some faith—not in the religious sense, but in the George Michael 1996 [“Freedom! ‘90”] supermodel sense.” —Michael T

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m out representing the trans community. I want everyone to be happy and I wish for everyone—gay, straight—to come together and just accept everyone.” —Amanda Lepore

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m happy that my friends are employed, that they’re busy and they’re booked. And I’m pissed how fucking hot it is. Gays really are in hell.” —Linux

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m here to support women and everybody that belongs to this community.” —Awuoi Maciop

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m angry about Roe v. Wade. They’re just getting started, so we have to get out and vote. Fuck them all to hell—Clarence Thomas and his Tea Party bullshit have got to go!” —Connie Fleming

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I want to make sure that no person who either serves as a Republican or who voted for a Republican escapes their responsibility for what has happened. As for the other side, I've met people who didn't get the connection between reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights, and I think I can credit Clarence Thomas with making it clear that they’re going after everything except for interracial marriage.” —Dan

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m excited for money! [Laughs.] Look, for me Pride is not a month. It is an attitude, a lifestyle, and I have it all year round. Pride month is about capitalism, and I’m going to capitalize on my queerness like I never have before. And next month, I can’t wait for Shame Month.” —Violet Chachki

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m excited to be out with my girls, celebrating life—because this world’s fucked up!” —Dezmond Sam

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“This is my very first Pride. I’ve been waiting for so many years to be here and I’m so happy to be here—I’ve been waiting for so many years. I was closeted for a long time, but I’m finally open about my sexuality and comfortable in who I am.” —Kwanyin Chevry

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“The world is definitely upsetting right now. But the thing about Pride is that we as human beings persevere and just move past all the bullshit. We’re unapologetically our fucking selves. —Matthew Kovalsky

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m pissed about the general state of our country, but [at least] Banana Republic has a gender inclusive clothing line.” —Silas Waller (right)

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m here from Philadelphia because it feels good to be around other queer people—to see all of us being queer and unapologetic together.” —Mandy Mango

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“Wherever you’re from or whomever you love is not my business. I don’t care—I love all of you.” —Shomari Thompson (left)

“We’re here to celebrate people, life, community, acceptance, and safety. Right now, people are worried about safety, so being in a place of community makes me very happy. It reminds you that shit is not that deep when it comes to the community: We have each other.” —Nailah (right)

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I am just so happy to be with all of my queer friends and family. Will the shitty stuff happening in the world, it feels good to be able to gather, dance, and just celebrate each other. I think that’s something that we’ve all been missing.” —Ashton Do

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“We’re here to support women’s autonomy of their own bodies and letting people do what they want to do.” —Faheem Khan (right)

Photo by Serichai Traipoom

“I’m so happy to be here with some of the most beautiful people in New York. Happy Pride—and fuck Florida!” Jack James Busa (right)

“And fuck SCOTUS!” —Daniel Walters (left)