Not long ago it was rare to see families at the NYC Pride March. No longer. Every year, increasing numbers of LGBTQ+ couples, now legally married with children—and some with queer and trans children—celebrate alongside their families. As a result, Pride has added events and performances of interest to all ages. Nevertheless, parents may wonder if the March is appropriate for children. How should parents navigate such a chaotic day with their families? If you’re a parent thinking about coming to WorldPride NYC 2019, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
If you’re attending the March with younger children, consider dressing them in distinctive attire to make them easier to spot in a crowd. Be sure children have your phone number and contact info on them, and agree in advance on a meeting place in case anyone gets lost. Also remember to bring sunscreen and earplugs for noise protection. It’s going to be hot, and it’s going to get loud!
Pride History 101
Yes, Pride is a blast, but your kids should also understand the significance of the event. The March began in 1970 as a way for LGBTQ+ people to assert their rights on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. And this year, WorldPride NYC 2019 celebrates the 50th anniversary of this landmark event. For more information, visit nycpride.org.
More Teachable Moments
On the one hand, Pride is a glorious celebration of freedom of expression; on the other, some attendees will be scantily clad. (It is Pride, after all!) So it’s best to prepare your children in advance. Think about this as an opportunity for talking to kids about body shaming and discussing important issues such as a healthy body image and personal choice, as well as a way to address cultural differences.
Leave your car at home. NYC's vast public transit system is your friend during the March; streets become quite crowded, particularly in and around Chelsea, the West Village, and near Pier 97 (West Side Highway and 57th Street).
The March officially starts at noon, but we suggest you get there early before the crowds arrive to grab a good spot for viewing where kids will be able to see. Research the parade route beforehand, bring a few portable chairs and find a shaded spot to watch the festivities. You might want to pick up some bagels and coffee to nosh on while you wait for things to get underway.
For parents in need, the Internet provides answers. The NYC Parks Department has lists of public facilities in all five boroughs.
Other Pride Events for Families
In addition to the March, the City offers a range of other family-friendly LGBTQ+ events for WorldPride NYC 2019. There are also other Pride marches and outdoor festivals that are great for families located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.
The Annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Thursday, June 6, 5:30–7:30pm
Bring your family to this after-hours event, featuring lots of art making activities (including rainbow finger-painting on the walls!) and the opportunity to explore the museum for free.
NYC Pride’s Family Movie Night
Friday, June 21, 6:30–10pm
Families can enjoy a free screening of the Disney/Pixar animated movie Coco outdoors on Hudson River Park’s Pier 45, located just off Christopher Street in the West Village. The film begins at dusk. For a VIP experience, click here.
Kidding Around Family Pride Picnic
Saturday, June 29, 10am–1pm
The LGBT Community Center hosts this annual event for families,this year taking place on the High Line (16th Street to Gansevoort Street). There will be refreshments served along with musical performances, carnival games and face-painting. It’s free but guests must register in advance via EventBrite.