Members of New York’s queer community reacting to the increased number of corporate sponsors and events of the city’s Pride program have announced an alternative march.
Labeled “The Queer Liberation March,” the demonstration will take place the morning of the New York City Pride Parade. The Liberation March will begin at 9:30am while the Pride Parade begins at noon.
“On the whole, I don’t believe it benefits our community when corporations are using it as a marketing endeavor,” says Robin Scott, a member of the Reclaim Pride Coalition, the group behind the alternative march.
Ellen Shumsky, a 50 year veteran of the queer rights movement, also told NBC News she plans to boycott the Pride Parade in favor of the Liberation March. “I don’t like all the floats advertising products,” she says. “It’s not the spirit of who we are or who we want to be.”
In a surprising move, organizers of the Pride Parade welcomed the alternative march. Cathy Renna, a spokesperson for NYC Pride, said “We want every event to succeed at Pride. We are not about division. We are about a diverse community that may not always agree on everything but needs to work together to move forward.”
The New York Pride Parade and the Queer Liberation March step off June 30.