>This past Sunday, GLSEN returned to New York City Pride marching in the official 2011 NYC Pride Parade. Our group of 125 GLSEN staff, chapter members, volunteers, students, educators, and supporters met up at 11 a.m., and we couldn't have asked for better weather. It was amazing to see so many supporters out for GLSEN.
Our contingent, armed with a bounty of GLSEN posters representing GLSEN's work and the 31 GLSEN chapters around the country, postcards, stickers and bracelets for the pride attendees, headed out onto "pride alley," otherwise known as 5th Avenue, with The Village as our destination. Thanks to Wells Fargo, we were positioned close to the beginning of the parade and walked behind the famous Wells Fargo stagecoach, where GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard, her daughter, Wilson Cruz, and Joel Burns experienced the march.
GLSEN’s Community Initiatives Director, Martha Langmuir, recounts an incidence of unforeseeable generosity as witnessed by members of our GLSEN Connecticut Chapter.
A large group of over 20 youth and adults came down from Connecticut to march with us in Pride and before heading back to the train they stopped for lunch. While they were sorting out who owed what on the bill, the waitress came and grabbed the bill and ran off with it. Turned out that a couple in the restaurant loves the work GLSEN does and were thrilled to see that this large a group of students had come in as part of GLSEN’s contingent.
"To me, this is emblematic of the reach of GLSEN’s work on a daily basis – our impact is far greater than we are able to see on most days.”
Just two days before the march the New York State Senate passed the marriage equality bill and in turn, the crowd was exceptionally enthusiastic as signs thanking Governor Cuomo for his signing of the bill littered the parade route. It was thrilling to march with this group, united in promoting safe schools for all students, as thousands of people on the sidelines passionately cheered us on in support.