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Letter: North Jersey Pride Suspends PrideFest to Join DC March for Equality

From North Jersey Pride:

It comes as no surprise that this has been a challenging year for our LGBTQ community, and the nation. We are up against perhaps the greatest threat to our identities, our safety and our democracy that we have recently seen. We are living in a time of resistance, and so we feel we need to reshape what Pride means.

Pride is not just about visibility. It’s not just about marriage equality. It’s not just about celebrating the progress made over the past five decades. Pride began as a rebellion, a resistance sparked by the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City. The time is now for a resurgence of that spirit of protest.

As immigrants, people of color, women, disabled people, trans and queer people, and other marginalized communities, we recognize the intersectionality of our identities and the critical juncture at which we have found ourselves. We must acknowledge our common struggle and rise up, en masse, to defeat the new normal of fear and bias.

To this end, the leadership of North Jersey Pride has made the decision, rather than hold our annual celebration of Pride in Memorial Park, to join the March for Equality in Washington, DC on June 11, 2017.

We have yet to understand how future circumstances may impact the work of North Jersey Pride, and we are eager for greater community engagement in our efforts. This is a call to action to our community, our friends and our allies, to step up and help shape the future of North Jersey Pride for the remainder of this year and in years to come.

In this 2017 Pride season, please join the North Jersey Pride community at our Run for Pride 5k, followed by brunch at Above, on Sunday, June 4th, starting at 9am. Then we hope you will join us in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, June 11th. We have organized round-trip busing to D.C. and will march together as a group. (For those who wish to stay overnight on June 10, please contact us at (info(at)northjerseypride.org) about a discounted hotel rate in downtown D.C.) Our Pride season will conclude with our first annual drag show, a collaboration with Vanguard Theater, on Sat., June 24th.

Following these events, the current leadership would like to invite interested organizers, planners and volunteers to a strategic planning meeting for North Jersey Pride on September 19th, 2017 at Cedar Ridge Bakery at 7pm. At that time, we will revisit our rebellious roots and how to apply that spirit to this new political landscape.

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