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New York Pride has become a "meaningless corporate circus" says Reclaim Pride

Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

Tired of the commercialization of New York's Heritage of Pride (HOP) parade, the group known as Reclaim Pride plans on marching for themselves at next year's event --the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall--according to New Now Next

Reclaim Pride makes no bones about how they feel in a recent press release:

“We think Heritage of Pride’s annual Pride Parade has become a meaningless corporate circus. We also condemn HOP’s plan to hold an opening ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, managed by notorious homophobe billionaire Philip Anschutz’s AEG [Anschutz Entertainment Group]. We think cities and towns all over the U.S. and the rest of the world should mark Stonewall 50 with similar human rights marches. Our communities and many others are under far too great continuing attacks to waste this moment on corporate celebration.”

 of New Now Next talked to Ann Northrop of Reclaim Pride and she criticizes everything from last year's parade route to the wristbands they used. 

"They have it where people have to have wristbands to be in the parade, and they had a limited number of wristbands," she explains. "That was their goal—to limit the number of people in the parade. Next year, they have agreed no wristbands because they were shamed about that, but they’re still putting limits on how many can be in the parade. Pride was always where people came and could do whatever they wanted."

Northrop also says the annual celebration has become a corporate event and even the local news affiliates are in on it.

"They sell the corporations particular places in the parade. With the money they get, they buy local TV time. The parade has just started being televised in the last couple of years, on Channel 7 from noon to 3 pm. And who is featured on the telecast? The corporations that have paid to be in these particular spots and whose money is used to buy the broadcast time, and they take a couple of anchors who know nothing about the community and anchor the three-hour broadcast, where they say things like “Here comes a float from a clothing company. That must be because gay people wear those clothes.” And who do they interview? The executives from the corporations. And you see ads from the corporations. And that is your Heritage of Pride parade."

Cathy Renny of HOP had a response: 

"We are approaching 2019—a year where our communities will come together and mark the historic queer milestones of Stonewall 50 and World Pride’s first time in the U.S.—and we are looking forward to the millions coming to march, celebrate, protest, and participate in whatever way they feel appropriate and safe. The reality is that NYC Pride incurs hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs to provide multiple free events, including one of the largest annual LGBTQIA+ marches in the world. And 2019 will be our largest undertaking ever. That requires funding, and we are proud to work with all of our community, corporate, and individual supporters who make NYC Pride a reality every year, in particular 2019. At a time when our community is under attack by a virulently anti-LGBTQIA+ administration in Washington and hate crimes continue to be on the rise across the country, our most marginalized and diverse communities are targeted on a daily basis and our rights and very existence are being legislated away, we should be working to combat transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia together.”

Reclaim Pride says there won't have floats in their parade and everyone will be welcome. But people can carry corporate banners if they like.

"But is T-Mobile really going to show up in a march for people’s justice? And if they want to, fine, let them. This will be like the original Stonewall marches for liberation. We’d like to get back to that—because, guess what? The revolution is not over," said Northrop.

The full article can be read by clicking HERE