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Pride hits Park Slope! Bklyn celebrates queer community with 21st annual event

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Photo gallery

1/13
Festive spirit: Leading up to the evening’s parade, the Brooklyn Pride Day festival overtook eight blocks of Fifth Avenue between Ninth and First streets with food, music, and fabulousness.
2/13
Pride pooch: Eight-year-old yorkie Coco displayed his solidarity with the gay community by wearing a rainbow-colored bandana.
3/13
Wingin’ it: Jawindy Swengbe came down to Park Slope from the Bronx with a pair of rainbow-colored wings.
4/13
Two tutus: Moni Hendrix and Melissa Medina wore matching tutus.
5/13
Mayday!: Pop band Emergency Tiara played the Brooklyn Pride Day festival on Saturday.
6/13
Gay City: New York’s leading gay community news source, Gay City, was handing out newspapers and raffling off VIP tickets to pride parties occuring later in June.
7/13
Fab family: Alexis Acevedo traveled from Bay Ridge to support her aunt, a member of the gay community, at Pride.
8/13
Family fun: The Brucklachner family traveled from Dumbo to show their pride at the Twilight March in Park Slope.
9/13
Slope-a-dope: Mayor DeBlasio returned to his former haunt in Park Slope to march.
10/13
What were they drinking?: We want some!
11/13
Presidential pride: Borough President Adams shook hands with spectators.
12/13
Color guard: A biker gal shows of her colors at the Twilight Parade in Park Slope.
13/13
Marching proud: The Twilight Parade on Brooklyn Pride Day stretched from Lincoln Place to Ninth Street along Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue.

Kings County has never been prouder of its queens.

Members and friends of Brooklyn’s LGBTQ community flocked to Park Slope on Saturday for the 21st Brooklyn Pride celebration, a day of inclusionary revelry with a festival and a parade that were bigger and more fabulous than ever, according to attendees.

“I could not have imagined how many people and booths there would be,” said Windsor Terrace resident Moni Hendrix, a Pride regular. “There was great support from the community. This year was amazing.”

Food stalls, musical performances, and other vendors typically pack six blocks of Fifth Avenue, between Second and Eighth streets, for the pre-parade festival. But this year the festivities were bounded by First and Ninth streets, expanding the good old-fashioned gaiety by two blocks.

Much of the extra room was used to set up tables and chairs around stages at either end of the stretch, where acts that included pop musicians Emergency Tiara and Matt Martin, Spanish rumba group Salvo and Hugo, and rock group Dolly Trolly performed.

And while the festival’s celebration of Brooklyn’s queer culture was loud and clear, people and families of all persuasions did not shy away from partaking in the event.

“You were welcomed, whether you are gay or not,” said Jawindy Swengbe, who drove an hour from the Bronx to attend the festival. “It was very family friendly.”

More than 50 organizations marched in Pride’s “Twilight Parade” — about a half-dozen more than last year — which kicked-off on Fifth Avenue at Lincoln Place as the festival wound down. Three grand marshals led the procession: Aids Healthcare Foundation honcho Michael Camacho, transgender activist Ron B., and a group of 20 hog-riding gals from the all-woman biker group, the Sirens Motorcycle Club.

Politicians practically fell over each other to get in step with their queer brothers and sisters as the lineup snaked along Fifth Avenue toward Ninth Street. The elected officials who marched with pride included Borough President Adams, Public Advocate Letitia James, Councilmen Carlos Menchaca [D–Sunset Park], Corey Johnson [D–Manhattan], Daniel Dromm [D–Queens], and Hizzoner, Mayor DeBasio.

Other marchers included the Kings County Pipe and Drum Core, all-gal drum group FogoAzul, Metropolitan Community Church, Episcopal Church of Brooklyn, Greenpoint Reform Church, and Club X Stacy, which drove in a truck bearing a rainbow flag and a troupe’s worth of drag performers.

And though the procession followed a linear route from start to finish, there was nothing straight about it, according to organizers.

“We marched gaily forward, because we don’t do anything straight,” said Brooklyn Pride co-chair Mickey Heller.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 8:18 pm, June 13, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Can you use the word Queer again?
June 13, 2017, 9:17 am
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
As a non-presenting trans person, I was somewhat intimidated by all of the male energy present. I thought the organizers would make it more of a safe space for the non-obvious trans questioning community. Apparently they think we're "not good enough" and "not important enough" to be served like the rest of the community.
June 13, 2017, 7:53 pm
gimme from yourz says:
I love showing the worldz my gay prides yo!
I love my gayness!
June 19, 2017, 2:02 pm

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