NYC Pride Marchers Tell Us What They Want Our Generation to Fight For

Authors:
Joe McCarthy and Olivia Kestin

Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

More than 48,000 people marched in the New York Pride March on Sunday, and 2 million people showed up in support, according to AM New York

The year's theme was "Defiantly Different," a call for people to celebrate their uniqueness and to take action for human rights. Throughout the day, the sense of jubilation was only surpassed by the awareness that many political obstacles stand in the way of both domestic and global LGBTQ rights.

After years of progress, the administration of President Donald Trump has rolled back transgender rights, defunded HIV/AIDs advocacy groups, and enabled discrimination against LGBTQ people, among many other actions, according to the advocacy group GLAAD.

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Around the world, LGBTQ rights remain under constant threat and 74 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality.

Gabriela Bhaskar photographed the march on assignment for Global Citizen and spoke with numerous revelers about what they hope our generation accomplishes. People called for universal health care, climate justice, voting rights, and more humane immigration laws. Overwhelmingly, they called for equality.

Here are some of our favorite portraits and quotes from the day.


GAB-20180624-378.jpgA little girl cheers as she marches through the 2018 NYC Pride March on June 24, 2018.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

GAB-20180624-052.jpgKaren Mirua, 44, Hope Well, NY at the 2018 NYC Pride March.Karen Mirua, 44, Hope Well, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I don't want to see labels anymore. Everyone is equal. I want peace and love for the world. I want people to accept their neighbors, for who they are and as spiritual beings." - Karen Mirua, 44.

GAB-20180624-214.jpgLorna Vatta, 48, Zoe Meregalli, 12, Emma Meregalli, 15 from Milan, Italy at the 2018 NYC Pride March. The family is on their first day of vacation. They found out about the march on the morning of and got clothing to participate in the festivities.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

“I raised my daughters and try to be a role model to show them that women can do whatever they want, despite what people say or think. And I want them to try to be happy while they do that.” - Lorna Vatta, 48.

GAB-20180624-595-2.jpgHaley Maerz, 20 from Goshen, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want my generation to fight for equal rights for everyone and to fight for more animal rights by making more awareness of the destruction of their habitat." - Haley Maerz, 20. 

GAB-20180624-1113-2.jpgJeffrey Petersen (left), 43, from Harlem, New York, and John Gonzales (right), 51, from New York, NY at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"VOTE! The most important thing young people can do is show up to vote. Really it comes down to voting, using the power we have to vote even if feel like we don't have any power." - Jeffrey Petersen, 43.

GAB-20180624-964.jpgTaylor Richardson (left), 16, from Edgewater, New Jersey, and Victoria Morales (right), 17, from Brooklyn, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I'd like to see policy changes that prevent discrimination. There are some but more can be made to help trans people and women for example. There are still people who get left out from places or kicked out of them. I also want to fight for health care reform." - Victoria Morales, 17.

GAB-20180624-734-2.jpgHarmony Vuitton, 18, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"We want to be fighting for equality and peace. Just that, equality and peace." - Harmony Vuitton, 18.

GAB-20180624-067.jpgLa Sirena NYC ride through the West Village together in the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

GAB-20180624-685-2.jpgA participant dancing in the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

GAB-20180624-504.jpgAttendees at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

GAB-20180624-223.jpgGia Heard, 26, from the Bronx, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want our generation to fight for the right to be themselves." - Gia Heard, 26.

GAB-20180624-621-2.jpgShine Dharan, 31, from London, United Kingdom at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want our generation to fight for equal rights for everyone; LGBTQ, and immigrants. Everyone. I wish that the gay rights we enjoy in New York will be enjoyed by everyone in this country." - Shine Dharan, 31

GAB-20180624-027.jpgRich Harris, 61, from Manhattan, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I think everyone should get water, food and shelter. Everyone should have opportunity, wherever you are, whoever you are. I'm not advocating for socialism. I'm advocating for a democratic social justice system." - Rich Harris, 61.

GAB-20180624-703-2.jpgKen Uva, 68, and Joyce Walkwitz at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I think that younger generations need to keep moving on. They have to keep going. There is always something to work for. I was marching against war 50 years ago. We're still marching." - Ken Uva, 68. 

GAB-20180624-988.jpgLauren Wright, 33, and her daughter Jayla Wright, 7 at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I would like to see more housing programs. There is so much homelessness. We need more help for people in need." - Lauren Wright, 33. 

GAB-20180624-1063-2.jpgA group of people from NYU march up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

GAB-20180624-201.jpgLavinia Draper, 62, from New York, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want the next generation to be kind to each other and keep an open mind. They should keep fighting for what they believe is right. They have to continue to be whoever they are, and let no one tell them what is right for them." - Lavinia Draper, 62. 

GAB-20180624-145.jpgDenera Covington, 23, from Baltimore, Maryland, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

“I want peace, equality, and freedom of expression.” - Denera Covington, 23.

GAB-20180624-1012-2.jpgKwamel Hawkins (left), 25, and Chester Allen (right), 24, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"Race is a huge problem. Things aren't always what they seem. People judge each other too fast." - Kwamel Hawkins (left), 25.

GAB-20180624-968-2.jpgAshlae Espinal, 17, in Brooklyn, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want us to be fighting for equal pay for men and women of all races." - Ashlae Espinal, 17.

GAB-20180624-1100-2.jpgAlexandra Starr, 22, from College Station, Texas, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want my generation to fight for animal rights. We need to protect animals from going extinct. Especially the hunting going on in Africa. It's so wrong." - Alexandra Starr, 22.

GAB-20180624-764.jpgThe crowd at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

GAB-20180624-1119-2.jpgTyze Super, 19, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want no more gun violence. I want equal rights for everyone; women, LGBTQ, lower income people, and Black people. You should be able to walk the streets without people judging you and to take you as you are." - Tyze Super, 19.

GAB-20180624-569-2.jpgJaspreet Kalsi, 20, from Lincoln Park, New Jersey, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I want equality, especially for people who are affected by hateful and discriminatory policies. I also think we should have universal basic income. All humans deserve a chance at living a good life." - Jaspreet Kalsi, 20.

GAB-20180624-022.jpgJuliette Aquino, 19, from Burlington, New Jersey, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I think we still need to keep fighting for equality, for every gender or sexual orientation, and that love can overcome hate. You should be able to be who you want to be with repercussions." - Juliette Aquino, 19.

GAB-20180624-1137-2.jpgStarr Lust, 35, from the Bronx, New York, at the 2018 NYC Pride March.
Image: Gabriela Bhaskar for Global Citizen

"I would like to see more love. People getting together like this from different cultures, nationalities and genders. If we could all come together and unite as one, that would be amazing." - Starr Lust, 35.