Heritage of Pride, the organizers of NYC Pride has announced its 2015 theme, “Complete the Dream” with the release of theme artwork and brand elements for June’s celebrations. NYC Pride organizes some of the world’s largest and most prominent LGBT pride events, including: the March, the Rally, PrideFest, Family Movie Night, and iconic dances on Manhattan’s West Side piers. In selecting “Complete the Dream” as its 2015 theme, the organization endeavors to honor not only the dreams of LGBT people, but also the dreams of all people seeking liberation from injustice. Further, the theme is a reminder that the LGBT community’s fight is not over until all LGBT people, including youth, transgender people, and LGBT people of color, are shown full dignity and respect under the law and in society.
LGBT Pride as an annual event began in New York in 1970 on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. In 2015, more than 1.7 million people are expected to participate in NYC Pride’s official slate of events, which take place from June 21 to June 28.
“Our 2015 theme highlights how close we are coming to our dream of full LGBT equality and liberation,” said Maryanne Roberto, NYC Pride Co-Chair. “In fact, one facet of that dream—full legal recognition of marriage equality in the US—could be made real by the United States Supreme Court in the days before we step off down Fifth Avenue.”
The week’s events include the following:
June 23rd – Make your way to Family Movie Night this year for a special showing of Disney’s Finding Nemo! Family Movie Night is moving to an even bigger location for 2015, Hudson River Park’s Pier 63 (Cross the highway at 24th or 22nd Street and West-side Highway), where you can enjoy a family-friendly flick, appropriate for all ages, while lounging under the stars on Hudson River Park’s Pier 63. Seating, blankets, and tasty treats will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. This event is FREE for everyone to attend.
June 26th – The Rally. The first NYC Pride Rally occurred one month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, when 500 people gathered for a “Gay Power” demonstration in Washington Square Park and followed by a candlelight vigil in Sheridan Square. NYC Pride has continued this proud tradition by hosting the event in various locations throughout the city. 2013 marked the opening of the official Pride events on Hudson River Park’s Pier 26.
June 27th – VIP Rooftop Party. NYC Pride and Brian Rafferty proudly present the 5th anniversary of the VIP Rooftop Party. Dance on the most exclusive rooftop venue overlooking the greatest city in the world during the best weekend of the year, which will feature 4 INCREDIBLE DJs (DJ Ben Baker, DJ Saul Ruiz, DJ Grind, DJ Cindel) 3 INCREDIBLE LEVELS: Hudson Terrace Rooftop, Indoor Salon, Outdoor Terrace and Open Bar featuring Reyka Vodka, Milagro Tequila, Hendricks | 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. This is the official Saturday event of NYC Pride, the largest Pride week in the nation.
June 27th – Teaze (formerly Rapture on the River) is NYC Pride’s exclusive event for women. After over a decade of “rocking women’s worlds,” the pwers-that-be are refreshing the event and introducing tons of exciting new ways for ladies of all walks to come together and celebrate Pride! Many of the details are still being finalized.
June 27th – WE PARTY PRESENTED BY MASTERBEAT. Masterbeat will once again present the official Saturday night event of NYC Pride with WE Party: University. Come party with over 3000 of the hottest men from around the world as once again, the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom is transformed into NYC’s biggest mega-club with 6 points of thundering line array concert sound, mega-watt full color lasers, hundreds of intelligent moving lights and the signature production that has made Masterbeat events famous around the world.
The theme this year is “University” as Hammerstein is transformed into a venue dedicated to higher learning. You won’t mind a session of summer school with these school jocks and coaches, bad teachers, hot cheerleaders, academic professors and legendary dancers direct from Spain. Assisting with your education will be international superstar DJ’s Sagi Kariv (Tel Aviv) and Micky Friedmann (Berlin) spinning the beats on campus.
Come get your degree at WE Party University. Bachelors and Master’s Degree Tuition available now. This is going to be one school where you won’t mind won’t mind staying at after class. Detention anyone? (Saturday, June 27th 2015, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, between 8th & 9th Ave)
June 28th – PRIDEFEST. PrideFest, which will be going into its 22nd year in 2015, is the annual LGBT street fair that combines vendors, entertainers and activities for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality. PrideFest attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors and brings them together with local residents and families, corporate sponsors, community leaders and area business owners. PrideFest is the perfect place to stop to listen to a few tunes, grab a bite to eat or score some great Pride gear. And the best part is, attendance is totally FREE! So be sure and round out your Pride experience with a trip to PrideFest. (Sunday, June 28th, 2015, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Hudson St. btwn Abingdon Sq. & W. 14th St.)
June 28th – The MARCH. The first March was held in 1970 and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration. Over the years its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to illness, violence and neglect. The March is a celebration of our lives and our community. In 2014, the March was joined by over 325 unique marching contingents, representing a vast array of non-profits, community organizations, corporate sponsors, small businesses, political candidates and activists! With over 55 floats making the trek down Fifth Avenue, last year’s March was one of the largest and most exciting in history.
June 28th – THE DANCE ON THE PIER. COME AND DANCE INTO THE NIGHT. NYC Pride is returning to Hudson River Park‘s Pier 26 in Tribeca with extended hours (3:00 PM – 10:00 Pm). Dance on the Pier, now in its 29th year, will again serve as the largest fundraiser for NYC Pride and its LGBT nonprofit grant winners. This year they are continuing to bring the biggest and best talent from around the world (including DJ The Cute Guys, DJ Ralphi Rosario and DJ Wayne G.). The event will once again close with the world’s longest-running LGBT fireworks display over the Hudson River. All proceeds from the Dance on the Pier benefit New York City’s Official Pride events and local LGBT community organizations. There are several packages available including General Admission ( includes entry into the space), VIP admission, Ultra-Premium VIP Bottle Package, All-Access NYC Pride Weekend Pass, Non-Alcoholic Drink Package, Bud Light Drink Package (includes five Bud Light drink tickets. Does NOT include entry into the event), and the Spirit Drink Package (includes five spirit drink tickets. Spirits include: Reyka Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila, Monkey Shoulder Whisky. Does NOT include entry into the event). Tickets sold at nycpride.showclix.com or at the following ticket vendors: Village Apothecary – 346 Bleeker Street and Delphinium Home – 353 West 47th Street .
Heritage of Pride also announced the event’s Grand Marshals for 2015. This year’s marshals are:
Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Ian McKellen, both openly gay English actors currently co-starring in the PBS series “Vicious.” Sir Derek is primarily known for his stage work and in films like “The King’s Speech” and “Gladiator” while Sir Ian is often recognized for his recurring roles as Magneto in the “X-Men” films and Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films;
SIR DEREK JACOBI is one of the most celebrated actors from the UK, having won numerous awards—including Tonys, Oliviers, Emmys, and BAFTAs—for his work in theatre, film, and television. Currently starring alongside Ian McKellen in Vicious, a PBS sitcom about two bickering old partners in London, Derek is an openly gay actor who has been with his partner, Richard Clifford, for 38 years. His extensive list of acting credits includes Last Tango to Halifax, Grace of Monaco, The King’s Speech, The Golden Compass, Gladiator, Gosford Park, Doctor Who, Frasier, The Borgias, and he has starred in some of Shakespeare’s most iconic roles on stage including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth.
SIR IAN MCKELLEN is an international acting star with more than 50 acting awards and hundreds of roles under his belt. He is particularly well loved for his roles as Magneto in theX-Men films and Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Ian is starring alongside Derek Jacobi in PBS’s Vicious as a gay character, which he also did in 1993’s And The Band Played On, a film about the origin of the AIDS crisis. Ian came out in 1988 and helped found Stonewall UK. Ian has extensive stage experience and recently delighted New York audiences alongside Stewart in Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land.
J. Christopher Neal, New York-based artist and leader of FluidBiDesign, an advocacy group and a community for fluid men of African descent. J. CHRISTOPHER NEAL is originally from Detroit and now lives in Brooklyn. Chris is a visual artist, educator, and the founder of the upstart organization FluidBiDesign, committed to the psychological, physical, and emotional health and well being of all men, but specifically men of African descent who conceive of their identities—inclusive of their sexuality but not limited to—as “fluid.” Its central focus is in promoting open dialogue, awareness, compassion, acceptance, increased knowledge, and understanding. and
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, considered the mother of the Ugandan LGBT rights movement and co-founder of the first Uganda Pride celebration. KASHA JACQUELINE NABAGESERA is the founder and Executive Director of the LGBT rights organization Freedom & Roam Uganda (FARUG). Since 1999, she has been one of the foremost leaders of the LGBT movement in Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal. She helped open Uganda’s first bar for LGBT people and in 2014 she helped organize the very first Pride Festival in Uganda. A frequent speaker at international human rights conferences, Kasha has been recognized numerous times for her pioneering approach to stopping homophobia in her home country and worldwide.
The March, the largest in the United States, commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, widely known as the birthplace of the LGBT equality movement. The 2015 March will also mark the important Supreme Court decision on marriage equality expected to be announced in June. Acknowledging both local and worldwide community achievements and the need to continue the fight, the 2015 theme for Pride is “Complete The Dream.”
“In a year where Americans look to the decisions of our highest court, it’s especially important NYC Pride point a light to worldwide issues reaching far beyond marriage equality,” said March Director David Studinski. “Our Marshals demonstrate advocacy on drastically different stages, but all with the same goal in mind. No matter where they work their words, they give voice to the ongoing narrative of our civil rights battle. Pride is a global movement, and these individuals remind us that even with great progress made, much remains before we complete the dream.”
The 2015 March steps off at noon on Sunday, June 28. The marshals will ride vehicles along the two-mile route, which begins in Midtown Manhattan at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue. The March proceeds downtown via Fifth Avenue, turning west along 8th Street into the West Village until a sharp turn onto Christopher Street at Sixth Avenue. Marchers continue down Christopher Street, past The Stonewall Inn, until the route disperses at Greenwich Street.
Adds Managing Director Frederick, “This year NYC Pride will attract more than 2 million people for a week of celebration and fun, but in Uganda, people are literally risking their lives to attend a Pride event. The symbolism of having a hometown leader, a daring international pioneer, and two beloved and successful movie stars standing side-by-side represents everything we have accomplished and hope to accomplish around the globe.”
Registration for interested groups is open through June 7, subject to availability, by visiting nycpride.org/events. Those interested in volunteering for NYC Pride events can do so at nycpride.org/volunteer. For a full calendar of NYC Pride events, or for more information, visit www.nycpride.org.