All the colors of the rainbow were out in full force last weekend for New York City Pride—including Hamilton College’s Continental blue.
Thousands of people filled the streets on June 24 for the New York City annual gay pride march, a massive celebration of LGBTQ identity. The theme of this year’s march was “Defiantly Different.”
With colorful banners, flags and protest signs, Hamilton students hit the streets with more pride than ever, celebrating both love and resistance for LGBTQ students and allies.
The trip was organized in collaboration with Director of Alumni Relations Sharon Rippey and Hamilton Spectrum LGBT Alumni Network.
The first official Pride parade was held in New York City in 1970 after the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a series of violent demonstrations against a police raid that targeted a gay bar in Greenwich Village.
Gabrielle Colchete ’21 thinks that we should remember that history. “It’s important to keep in mind that the first Pride was a protest,” she said. “It’s empowering to feel the spirit of such a big crowd coming together.” She said she loved walking along , seeing all the supporters, and “looking up at all the people waving flags and cheering from their apartments. Even though there’s so much pain in our history, you can still feel that love and acceptance of the community coming together and celebrating who they are,” she said.
This was the first time attending a pride event for Alex Golub ’21. “It was such a great atmosphere. You could walk down the street and just see people wearing rainbow flags and being so open about their identities. You don’t see that at any other time of year—it’s just not possible,” she said.
Students and alumni marched in the parade alongside other northeastern schools, including Colby College, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, Colgate University, and Williams College. Students from each school carried a banner to represent their institution.
“As a student, it felt like a statement,” said Golub. “That we’re here, and we’re not going to be quiet or ignored. We’re here.”