It wasn’t as big as the New York City Pride Parade, not by a long shot, but Make the Road New York’s annual Bushwick Pride Parade drew attention from neighborhood residents on Saturday afternoon as more than a hundred MRNY members took to the streets to demonstrate for LGBT rights.
The two-hour parade was led by GLOBE, Make the Road’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizing arm that brought out many of the nonprofit’s core members and friends, including “radical marching band” Rude Mechanical Orchestra and Queens Councilman Danny Dromm.
Same-sex marriage remains the most significant issue for many members motivated to march on Saturday, but youth organizers such as Bushwick School of Social Justice graduate Robert Moore say that tolerance and openness in the neighborhood’s public schools remain a struggle.
“It depends where you go,” said Moore. “In my school, people love it and are excited about [the pride movement], but some people are in your face, saying ‘I don’t like it, why are you gay or lesbian.’”
Make the Road also recently won a campaign against American Eagle Outfitters, an apparel company, to force it to educate employees on gender issues and strike rules that require workers to dress according to sex. MRNY charged the clothier with discrimination against transgendered job applicants. Marchers held signs demanding an end to “discrimination to transgenders.”
Afterwards, the marchers ate barbecued hot dogs, hamburgers, and rice and beans and watched the third place World Cup game, with fans split between Germany and Uruguay.
"Today, with 12,600 dues-paying members, MRNY is a unique amalgam of worker center, legal clinic, citizenship school, mutual aid society, policy shop, protest factory and church. Its four offices in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island are an egalitarian oasis for members, who gather there for conversation and classes..."