North Jersey Pride’s 10th Annual Pride Festival Will Take Place Sunday, June 12

by North Jersey Pride
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From North Jersey Pride:

Martha Wash to headline during 40th anniversary of “It’s Raining Men” 

North Jersey Pride, the nonprofit dedicated to promoting equality, acceptance, and respect for LGBTQ youth and families in New Jersey, returns to Memorial Park in Maplewood on Sunday, June 12th from 12pm-6pm, with an outstanding lineup of national and local talent, featuring Martha Wash (Weather Girls, C+C Music Factory, Black Box), Ali Caldwell (NBC’s The Voice, Fox’s Final Four), two-time Grammy-nominated jazz artist Alphonso Horne, plus Antigone Rising, Tony Award-winner Britton Smith, the New Jersey Gay Men’s ChorusHarmonica SunbeamMuMu, with Scott Nevins (Bravo TV’s The People’s Couch) returning to emcee the day. PNC Bank will return as the 2022 Presenting Sponsor.

“After a challenging couple of years, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be back in Memorial Park, live and in person, to celebrate 10 years of North Jersey Pride,” said executive director C.J. Prince, who added that more than 10,000 attendees are expected to come out and enjoy the day. “At a time when our community is facing considerable challenges and anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks across the country, we look forward to showing up for our vulnerable youth, creating space for them, and reminding them they have an entire community of both LGBTQ and ally individuals behind them.”

2022 Award Recipients 

  • The 2022 Vanguard Award will be presented to Gary Paul Wright and the nonprofit he cofounded 22 years ago, the African American Office of Gay Concerns (AAOGC), which has proudly served the greater Newark area for two decades by offering health programs & services to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Gary has been active in the fight against HIV/AIDS since the mid-‘80s, when he began as a “buddy” for Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City, and first noticed the disparity in the level of care provided to LGBTQ people of color. He has since devoted his life to bridging that gap. The award will be presented at the festival on June 12th.
  • The 2022 Barbra C. Siperstein Trailblazer Award, which recognizes champions of transgender rights and equality, will be presented to Leslie Farber, an attorney and long-time friend of Babs Siperstein. Leslie helped to pass what has now become known as “The Babs Siperstein Law,” which allows transgender individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificates. The award will be presented at the festival on June 12th by Barbra’s daughter, Jana Siperstein-Szucs.
  • This year’s Outstanding Ally Awardwas received by Sheryl Lee Ralph,acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage, and most recently, star of ABC’s hit sitcom Abbot Elementary, in recognition of her decades-long support for LGBTQ+ equality, her tireless work around AIDS/HIV advocacy and education, and her willingness to be unabashedly outspoken about inequality in all its forms. The award was presented via live feed at North Jersey Pride’s gala, the Say Gay Soirée, on June 3rd.

“By recognizing those who have made a difference in our community, we hope to inspire many more to get active on behalf of LGBTQ youth and families in New Jersey,” Prince said.

The interactive stage in the Rainbow Kids Zone will return this year with a full day of programming starting at 12pm. Shows and activities will include: Mad Science’s “Fire & Ice,” the Lizard Guys, Prof. Harry Hocus’s Magic Act, martial arts class, a foam party – and more! 

A Full Month of Pride

The Festival will take place amidst of a month full of events that include:

6/1: Screening of The Way He Looks cosponsored by Rainbow Youth Alliance and Cinema Lab;

6/3: The “Say Gay Soirée” gala fundraiser at Orange Lawn Tennis Club; 

6/5: The Annual Pride Run 5K in South Orange’s Grove Park, followed by brunch at Miti-Miti

6/8: “Let’s Talk About Gender,” a panel discussion with experts, parents and youth at Columbia High School

6/10: The “Big Queer Prom” for youth and families, cosponsored by Maplewood Arts & Culture and Rainbow Youth Alliance

6/16: Outdoor Movie Night: Screening of But I’m a Cheerleader at Waterlands Park in South Orange

6/17: Pride Night with the Mets at Citi Field 

6/24: Drag Dance Party, cosponsored with Maplewood Arts & Culture

About North Jersey Pride: North Jersey Pride is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that produces events and activities to promote inclusivity, equality, awareness, and understanding in the upper Garden State. NJP produces the North Jersey Pride Festival on the second Sunday in June, as well as a host of activities in June designed to bring LGBTQ individuals and straight allies together to celebrate our unique identities. We further aim to empower young people to become pro-active citizens; businesses to become active community partners; and families of all make-ups to become allies for one another. Our unique Pride Festival offers safe, family-friendly entertainment and fun for all.

Visit us on social media: Jersey Pride

Contact: C.J. Prince,, 646-425-4362


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