Pride celebrations can play an important part in our coming out journeys and quest to find community. Many of us have fond memories of being fully adorned in rainbow paraphernalia, cheering at the top of our lungs, party-hopping, and feeling blissfully free. Eboni Munn, communications manager, and Michele Irimia, development director of the Heritage of Pride, a nonprofit that plans and produces New York City’s official LGBT Pride events, debunk some of the myths about Pride and share why this year is one of the city’s most inclusive Prides yet.
ELIXHER: What’s your favorite part of Pride?
EBONI: Seeing people come together. I’ve participated in the March for several years and I always get the sense of family, friendship, and community.
ELIXHER: What are you most looking forward to this year at NYC Pride?
MICHELE: This year, I am looking forward to our Youth Pride. It is the first time that we are able to provide youth a safe space that will be interactive. It is an event created for a new generation of LGBTQ and their allies. I never had a place to go to when I was 15 or 16 and this event lets young people know they have a place in our community.
ELIXHER: What are people’s biggest misconception of NYC Pride?
MICHELE: Most people think that we are a wealthy organization run by rich men and that is simply not true. We pride ourselves on being a diverse member run organization that represents New York City. Every year, we have to start over and raise money to create safe spaces for all parts of our community. NYC Pride is a true representation of the new America.
ELIXHER: Pride has a pretty jam-packed event lineup — it seems like there’s something for everyone. Why should someone reading this attend Pride?
EBONI: We have some exciting events and there’s truly an opportunity for the LGBT community, along with allies, to attend. This year, we wanted to create more of an inclusive environment for our events. With Pride Island, our three-day cultural experience featuring Deborah Cox, Patti LaBelle, Tegan and Sara, and Nelly Furtado, Youth Pride geared towards LGBT teens, and Family Movie Night’s showing of The Lion King for families – we truly welcome all to experience Pride.
ELIXHER is a proud media sponsor of NYC Pride. If you’re interested in marching with ELIXHER at this year’s Pride March, sign up here by June 9! Allies are welcome. Unable to join us but still want to celebrate your pride? Pre-order an ELXIHER “Deliberate & Unafraid” Pride t-shirt!