GayRidge kicks off fundraiser for Pride 2024, third-annual event at Owl’s Head Park

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A group photo from last year’s well-attended GayRidge Pride 2023.
Photo courtesy of GayRidge

As organizations across the five boroughs prep for bountiful Pride events in June, South Brooklyn community group GayRidge is spreading the word about — and raising funds for — GayRidge Pride 2024.

On June 2, the group will host its third-annual Pride event at scenic Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge, featuring accessible and family-friendly crafts and games, numerous live performances, a miniature pet parade and no cover charge.

Organizers bill the already-popular local event as “a celebration of queer culture in South Brooklyn and a commemoration of the struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights,” according to the group. Formed in 2019, GayRidge also hosts a monthly coffee event at City League Coffee Roasters and a monthly book club at Lock Yard in Bay Ridge.

GayRidge co-directors McKenzie Keating, Jason Graubard and Liam Vogel told Brooklyn Paper that they’ve seen a lot of support and enthusiasm for the group’s community events in South Brooklyn over the past few years, including GayRidge Pride.

“I think most people don’t know how many queer people there are in Bay Ridge,” said Vogel. “I’m from Bensonhurst … and I was always under the impression that these South Brooklyn neighborhoods – Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge – didn’t have other queer people. And until I heard about GayRidge, I felt like I might be the only trans person in South Brooklyn.”

“It was a shock to me, just how many trans and queer people and families there are here, and I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that,” Vogel added.

Left to right: GayRidge Pride co-directors McKenzie Keating, Liam Vogel and Jason Graubard.Photo courtesy of GayRidge

Just the day before, Keating said, she heard people talking about a queer pool league at a local bar.

“There’s queer visibility in spaces that, ten years ago, we likely wouldn’t have seen,” Keating said.

This year’s live entertainment is being organized by the DIY music collective The Pigeon Pack, featuring a lineup including DJ Evangeline, JBLAZN, Julia Her, Zoe Briskey, The Canvas Collective, and more. Activities will include rock painting with Bay Ridge Rocks, face painting, field games, and a queer pet march (all leashed pets are welcome).

Funds raised via GoFundMe for GayRidge Pride 2024 will be managed by the local nonprofit Bay Ridge Cares. As of May 13, the group has raised over $1,600 toward a $5,000 goal.

With June approaching, GayRidge is also seeking additional volunteers to assist during the event. Those interested in volunteering or learning more about GayRidge’s work and events can visit gayridge.org.