The 37th Avenue route of the Parade and Multicultural Festival is a new edition to Queens Pride this year.
The theme, “A Generation of Pride in Queens,” acknowledged the 20 years of leadership and advocacy that advanced the causes of the LGBTQ community.
The festival included nearly 100 vendors along 37th Road and 75th Street. Two stages featured entertainment throughout the day. The festival was capped off with a performance by Martha Wash, who marked the 30th Anniversary of the Weathergirls' smash hit “It’s Raining Men.”
“She really wowed the crowd,” said Councilman Daniel Dromm, the parade's founder, after the festivities. He added that Wash is “also a person who's very interested in and supportive of LGBT rights.”
Dromm said the parade changed drastically in the last 20 years. The first year, he said, there were police helicopters flying above and officers positioned on the rooftops of the buildings that lined the festivities.
“We weren't sure what the reaction from the community would be, but that first year it was met with a tumultuous applause,” he said.
In the early years of the festival, Dromm said, the gay community was fighting for basic rights, to live in apartments and gain employment.
“Twenty years ago I don't think we ever could have imagined we'd have marriage equality,” he said.
Photos: Michael O'Kane