Central PA's LGBT News Source


NYC heritage of pride share history locally


South central Pennsylvania’s LGBT community has had a long history with NYC Pride.

NYC Pride, the official host of WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50 is a nonprofit organization that plans and produces New York City’s official LGBT Pride events each year to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 — the beginning of the modern Gay Rights movement.

Harrisburg-area resident John Folby, well-known throughout the state and nation for his work in the field of HIV/AIDS, often tells the story of how tireless advocate and activist Jerry Brennan, now deceased, felt so strongly that the region’s LGBT community needed to experience NYC Pride he would volunteer to organize a bus, or two, so people could attend events.

“That’s how we’d get there. Jerry would put it all together. Others helped, of course,” Steve Leshner tells Central Voice. In 1978, he was in Central Park celebrating Pride where Melissa Etheridge performed. Etheridge is scheduled to perform again June 30 at the NYC Pride final celebration in NYC’s iconic Times Square.

In recent years, Pride Festival of Central Pennsylvania, under the leadership of Brad Martin, has continued the tradition of sponsoring a bus to attend NYC Pride events. Once again, residents of the region can enjoy a one-day bus trip sponsored by CPPF. Information is available at centralpapridefestival.com.

In addition to a major parade, the venue will offer programming on Politics & Rights, Arts & Culture, History & Learning, Cinema, and Family & Kids programming. There’s also afternoon rooftop parties and late night dance parties.

NYC Pride announced May 1 the WorldPride Mural Project initiative, in collaboration with production and curation partner, LISA Project NYC, founding partner, HSBC Bank, and major supporter, Macy’s. Both local and international artists, 50 in total, were selected to create murals within the five boroughs of New York that reflect and honor the beauty, struggle, and strides of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Beginning May 1, the initial set of murals will be on display in Manhattan, beginning at Arlo NoMad in Midtown. Over the course of May and mid-June, the complete set of murals will be unveiled, culminating before the WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50 season commences and remaining intact throughout the duration of the month's celebration. Macy's is set to reveal their murals on June 6th in the windows of Macy’s Herald Square and will remain throughout June.

“Art, in all its forms, has always been an integral means of expression in the LGBTQIA+ community, and particularly meaningful to the fabric of New York City’s culture,” said Chris Frederick, Executive Director of NYC Pride. “Street art is a poetic example of this expression and the 50 WorldPride muralists will, no doubt, combine beauty and poignant messaging at a time when our collective stories can be – and must be – told.”

The entire 30-day calendar of events can be accessed at 2019-worldpride-stonewall50.nycpride.org.