The Brooklyn Pride Parade comes of age

Gay pride fills Park Slope at 17th annual parade and fest
Photo by Paul Martinka

The Brooklyn Pride Parade is all grown up.

The borough’s annual display of all things loud and proud is now 18 years old — and it plans to act like it.

“Everyone is celebrating how we are going to new levels every year and how we are growing up,” said Mickey Keller, chair of Brooklyn Pride. “Every year, we work on how to grow and make it better.”

The massive parade is expected to once again draw dozens of LGBTQ organizations and thousands of revelers, and will take place along Fifth Avenue, between Lincoln Place and Ninth Street in Park Slope on June 14.

The times they have-a changed since the event began in 1996. Gay marriage is now unequivocally legal in New York, and it is much safer to be out and proud — but the organizers say pride parades are still very relevant today.

“We have a whole block of youth who get a chance to network and hang out together and feel safe,” said Brooklyn Pride treasurer and co-founder Jerry Allred. “It shows people that there are others out there like them.”

The Brooklyn Pride Parade also offers an alternative to its Manhattan counterpart — the one on the other side of the river draws celebrants from all over the Northeast, while the Borough of Kings event prides itself on being a local affair.

The parade will be on the final day of Brooklyn Pride week, which kicked off June 9. The day will also feature a 5K run and two stages of entertainment.

Brooklyn Pride Parade (Fifth Avenue between Lincoln Place and Ninth Street in Park Slope, brooklynpride.org). June 14 at 7:30 pm. Free

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.