This article was published on July 18th, 2019
WorldPride is an incredible world-wide event promoting LGBTQ+ issues on an international scale through festivals, parades, and an expansive range of cultural activities. WorldPride was initially held in Rome in 2000, but in June 2019, New York City was the official host to the largest WorldPride celebration globally, marking the 50thanniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the most pivotal moment in the modern LGBT movement.
The events over the course of the month are a true reflection of the depth of the LGBT community, with the iconic NYC Pride March operating alongside newer events such as Pride Island. Per tradition, NYC Pride presides over the opening and closing ceremony to welcome visitors to New York City. From live music from international artists, curated films, and a multitude of street fairs, each day of the festivities promises a slew of options to participate in throughout the City. The essence of Stonewall remains deep within the heart of the community as it celebrates the past, present, and future moments of the LGBTQ+ world.
‘Millions of Moments of Pride’marked the theme for WorldPride 2019 and the Stonewall 50 commemoration, which features two months of programs and events in cooperation with PrideFest, Pride March, and dance parties. It is billed as the largest LGBT event ever, with more than 5 million visitors in attendance.
Here is a look back at some of the biggest moments of WorldPride 2019 in New York City:
Held in Brooklyn at Barclay’s Center and hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, the opening ceremonies include a star-filled line-up, including Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Billy Porter, Billy Porter, Ciara, Todrick Hall and Dara.
Held at the Stonewall Memorial, The Rally is an annual NYC Pride tradition. The Stonewall Inn was the location of the start of the modern LGBT rights movement, and during WorldPride, the square was filled with thousands of people standing up to make a difference. Throughout the course of the evening, The Rally heard speeches and performances from LGBT activists, artists, and allies. It was a moving show of solidarity of the importance for the ongoing fight of LGBT rights. The evening highlight was an appearance by Lady Gaga. More photos from WorldPride 2019 – The Rally.
WorldPride brought out the big guns this year, with two of the biggest gay icons in the history of the movement. Madonna took to the stage on Sunday, headlining with a heartfelt speech about the fight for LGBTQ+ rights over the decades, plus a performance that included her classic international hits. The legendary Grace Jones also performed for the crowds, making Pier 97 the place to be once she took center stage. Other performers included Teyana Taylor, Pablo Vittar, Amara La Negra, DJ Johnny Dynell, DJ Abel , and DJ Morabito. More photos from WorldPride 2019 – Pride Island.
The Pride March
New York City hosted millions of people marching through the streets and appearing on decorated floats, elaborate costumes throughout the entire day, featuring appearances by the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, members of Congress, as well as Senators rallying the masses with messages and speeches to commemorate the event. Plenty of LGBT icons and celebrities were seen marching throughout the day, with famous DJ blasting music on elaborate floats to keep the thousands of people moving until well after 9:00pm. The purpose of the march, even with the festivities, was people together as a united front for the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community. More photos of WorldPride – The March.
A one-of-a-kind event that never fails to impress, the closing ceremonies in 2019 welcomed Melissa Etheridge as the featured performer. The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter has been a vocal proponent for civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community for over 20 years, a living icon that gave the crowd a taste of her legendary musical might.
The line-up included a slew of other performers as well, including Deborah Cox, Jake Shears and MNEK, and the cast of Broadway’s The Prom. Also, there were a slew of prominent queer leaders and activists on hand giving speeches, protesting, and commemorating those that fought for the community over the years. With over 4 million people in attendance, the closing ceremonies made history yet again.
2019 marked the first year that WorldPride was held in the United States and New York City proved to be an amazing city to host such an important event in LGBT history. As over 5 million people flocked to the city that never sleeps, the events will leave memories that will last a lifetime. More than just a weekend of performances, icons of the LGBT community, and carefully crafted events, WorldPride and NYC Pride is just one more statement of the importance of recognizing LGBT rights and the important work that has been done since the Stonewall uprising. The work must continue.