The festivities began on Sunday with a familiar feel: Revelers adorned in a palette of bright colors, waving rainbow flags and handmade signs, tossing confetti into the air as the roar of screams and bikers revving their motorcycle engines signaled the start of the annual New York City Pride March in Manhattan.
But there was no mistaking that this year’s event, for all its joyous celebrations, had taken on sudden urgency and heightened significance just two days after the United States Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion and signaled that the court could reconsider other liberties, including the 2015 decision that allowed same-sex marriage.
Those thoughts were on the minds of three high school friends from New York City who arrived two hours before the parade began on Sunday to grab an upfront view at the starting point near the Flatiron Building in Manhattan. “Because of all the recent stuff that’s been happening, I’m glad that we have the chance to be with people we know who support us,” said Ivey Espinosa, 17, who identifies as nonbinary and attends Fort Hamilton High School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “There’s more importance, more urgency.” Moments later, Planned Parenthood — which event organizers decided to place at the head of the event after the decision to overturn Roe v.
Wade — led the way as the first groups of the Pride March rolled down Fifth Avenue. A joyous and diverse scene of people of all ages from across the country had packed sidewalks, congregated on building fire escapes and climbed scaffolding to watch the parade.