Thursday, April 18, 2024

Jackson Heights Queens Pride Parade Strengthens Community and Culture

Throughout June (and much of the year) New York City shows pride and love for the LGBTQIA+ community. While the major LGBT Pride March takes place on Sunday, June 26, there are smaller events all over the city. Jackson Heights, Queens celebrated its pride with a parade on June 5.

Floats, costumes, good music, the fiercest drag queens and blocks of residents and visitors from other boroughs lined the streets. Fun was a complete understatement for this pride parade. The parade represented members of the LGBTQIA+ community from various Latin American countries, parts of the Caribbean, Asia, Native Americans and more.

Queens Pride Parade
Photo Credit: Liz Ramanand/The Travel Addict

It’s no surprise since Jackson Heights is home to a melting pot of cultures. In one section of the neighborhood, you can experience cuisine from Southeast Asia and in another section, you can dive into eateries representing Latin America. You might even end up near an authentic Irish pub.

Approximately 60% of people who live in Jackson Heights were born outside of the United States, according to data from Nycgo.com. It also has a vibrant LGTBQIA+ community and scene. Along Roosevelt Avenue, you can find nightclubs, establishments and businesses owned by LGBTQIA+ residents and their allies.

When the parade ended, the real party began at 37th Road between Roosevelt Avenue and 37th avenue. There were vendors, organizations and two large stages featuring music and entertainment all day long.

Jackson Heights, Queens Pride

Photo Credit: Liz Ramanand/The Travel Addict

Born and bred in New York, I lived in Queens all my life. I moved to Jackson Heights in 2020 and its energy and sense of community are unmatched. This was my first Pride parade in Queens. As someone who has friends and family in the LGBTQIA+ community, and as an ally, I wanted my sister and 74-year-old aunt to experience this with me as well.

While there were some things my aunt didn’t fully understand, she respected the event. She respected the people. Even though this parade might be out of her element, she understood that people should live and love how they want to.

One of the most impactful parts of the parade was some older couples who marched. One couple had a sign that said the couple was together for 34 years. Another sign was held up for a couple together for 48 years. At that moment we all understood that love is love, no matter what.

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