ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The 2016 Pride Parade in New York City is expected to be the biggest in history.
Some local members of the LGBT community are in Manhattan for the Pride Parade on Sunday. Security has been increased due to the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Despite an unprecedented level of security, the city’s pride parade is still expected to be the biggest in history. For some local members of the LGBT community, this will be their first time taking part.
“It’s going to be a damn, big parade; that’s for sure,” Exec. Dir. and CEO of the Price Center for the Capital Region Michael Weidrich said.
For starters, President Barack Obama declared the Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, as a national landmark.
“I thought it was important for me to come to NYC Pride this year for my first time,” Weidrich said.
Weidrich is already in Manhattan and is ready to continue the march towards equality with tens of thousands of people.
“They can come into our space, they can fire bullets at us, and burn our flags, but we will survive and we will be resilient and defiant of all of that,” he said.
The mass shooting in Orlando has added urgency to the message of equality. In the Capital Region, the community will march in defiance after someone set fire to the Albany Damien Center’s Pride Flag.
On June 24, 2011, New York State legalized gay marriage.
“I remember it very vividly,” Albany City Councilman Judd Krasher said.
Krasher attended the NYC Pride Parade that year. He expects this year’s parade to carry the same tone of love and celebration, because he said the LGBT community will not cave to fear.
“There are those wedges that are driven between us for the sole purpose of dividing us,” he said. “And we’re not going to let that happen. We’re just not going to let that happen.”
The NYC Pride Parade is on Sunday, but people carried out the Pride Rally on Friday night. It is a tradition to mark the first rally one month after the Stonewall Riots in 1969.