Borough President Antonio Reynoso made sure to bring the cheer to his office’s celebration of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month on Monday night at Borough Hall.
Co-hosted by Brooklyn Pride Inc., a non-profit organization operated for and by members of the queer community, the celebration featured performances by drag icon Jus Jahlisa as well as cheer routines from Gotham Cheer Inc., an adult LGBTQIA+ cheer group.
“The LGBTQIA+ community across the country has been met with hate from every direction this past year that threatens people’s ability to live freely as their true selves,” said Reynoso. “At Brooklyn Borough Hall, we are allies to this community, creating a space of inclusivity and condemning anything that risks it. I’m excited to help kick off Pride Month, hosting a night of fun, dancing, laughter, and belonging.”
The month of June is widely celebrated as national LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and functions as both a celebration of queer existence as well as remembrance to individuals across this country who have lost their lives or had their well being threatened simply because of who they are.
“As we celebrate Pride Month, we must remember that pride isn’t just an emotion – it’s a motivation,” said Reynoso. “Pride drives us to ensure this borough and this country is a place where everyone can be the most expansive, most free version of themselves without fear or hate. New York City is more than a dot on the map, it’s a center-point of the world where people from all over converge and find inspiration.”
During the event, Reynoso also awarded a citation to LGBTQIA+ advocate, Aundaray Guess for his work with the Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) where he worked to expand care and education in relation to HIV and AIDS.
The first Brooklyn Pride Parade took place on June 14, 1997 initially starting in Park Slope and including a festival nearby in Prospect Park. The event took place in part to bring awareness to the AIDS crisis while also remembering those who had lost their lives to the virus.
Last night’s Brooklyn Borough Pride Month celebration was also sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation which continues to advocate for proper healthcare to those with HIV/AIDS diagnoses.
The event was also made possible by sponsorship by Ponce Bank, who said their contribution to the celebration emphasized their commitment to financial equity.
“Whether it’s helping families and businesses to achieve their financial goals, or coming to the aid of our neighbors most in need, we care deeply about the underserved but highly deserving communities in which we serve,” said Carlos P. Naudon, President of Ponce Bank. “Pivotal in our outreach and relationships in our communities is the concept of inclusion. For us, it means acceptance, understanding, perseverance, and giving each person, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or national origin, the right to thrive.”
To learn more about the history of Brooklyn Pride Month, visit Brooklyn Pride Inc. here.