Reclaim Pride Announces 6th Annual March on June 25th

By Village View Staff

RECLAIM PRIDE 2022 MARCH. Photo courtesy of Reclaim Pride.

The Reclaim Pride Coalition’s fifth annual Queer Liberation March will be held on June 25 under the theme of “Trans & Queer; Forever Here!”

The annual march, held as a grassroots-based alternative to the mainstream NYC Pride Parade, will begin with a rally at Foley Square before proceeding through lower Manhattan and concluding at Washington Square Park. Marchers are asked to gather at Foley Square at 2 p.m.

The Coalition is emphasizing visibility and fighting back against the erasure of LGBTQ people at a time when the community has been targeted by transphobic legislation in statehouses as well as broader attacks on inclusive education programs, libraries, gender-affirming care and the right to play sports, among other areas. In announcing the theme, Reclaim Pride also sounded the alarm about the state of American democracy and denounced the emergence of “home-grown, repugnant fascism.”

“The attacks against LGBTQIA2S+ youth and adults remain unprecedented,” Reclaim Pride Coalition co-founder Jay W. Walker said. “Since last year’s Queer Liberation March, the christo-fascist patriarchy has only redoubled its crusade to transform this nation into a theocracy; a replica of Margaret Atwood’s ‘Gilead.’ As they flail about, spewing venom at our communities, we know that by standing proudly in our truth and speaking that truth every day, especially at Pride, we are stating very clearly that we shall not be moved.”

In 2019, a group of queer activists banded together to form the Reclaim Pride Coalition—established both to honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and to offer a fierce rebuke to the ongoing corporatization of the annual NYC Pride Parade. As the state of LGBTQ+ rights in the U.S. has entered the mainstream conversation of American politics, the founders and organizers behind the Reclaim Pride Coalition have grown frustrated at the co-option of the movement by brands, corporations and law enforcement bodies who have exploited Pride as an opportunity to burnish their public image—all the while continuing to fund and support political bodies with regressive stances on queer rights.

The first Queer Liberation March was held in 2019. In the years following, its mandate has only grown stronger and in the wake of last year’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the energy of the march felt more forceful than ever. With the march’s focus on reproductive justice and bodily autonomy, and a particular emphasis on the communities of color who will be disproportionately affected by the ruling, the resounding sentiment was one of solidarity with people whose fundamental right to choose whether or not to have a baby is now under threat.

In accordance with the group’s mission — and origin — the Reclaim Pride Coalition bars uniformed police from marching and shuns corporate sponsors. The Queer Liberation March has attracted tens of thousands of people every year.

“Our trans and queer youth need us now more than ever,” Reclaim Pride Coalition organizer Meg Jones said. “With the myriad legislative efforts continuously being thrown at us, we need to continue to come together in community, to protect and support our queer and trans youth as they confront horrors no one should ever have to face.”