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Pride on Display: De Blasio Administration Decorates Crosswalks, Light City Hall to Celebrate LGBTQ New Yorkers

June 23, 2017

NEW YORK— This weekend, the de Blasio Administration will decorate crosswalks in Greenwich Village and light City Hall to celebrate Pride Month and NYC's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Queer communities. For the first time, the crosswalk across Christopher Street near the Stonewall National Monument will be painted in rainbow colors. Rainbow decals will also be placed on crosswalks across the 5th Avenue Pride March route at 36th and 24th Streets. In addition to having rainbow lights, City Hall will also display rainbow flags.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will attend the 48th annual NYC Pride March this Sunday.

"Pride Month reminds us that the fight for LGBTQ rights is not yet won, but that we can be proud as a city to have blazed the trail," said Mayor de Blasio. "Now more than ever, we need to come together and celebrate the contributions that the LGBTQ community has made to both our city and country. These displays serve as a profound symbol of a painful past, a hopeful future and the transformative change that happens when New Yorkers take action."

First Lady of NYC Chirlane McCray said, "As we illuminate the steps of City Hall and grace the streets of The Village with the wondrous designs of Gilbert Baker, NYC commemorates the journey of the LGBTQ community – hardships and triumphs alike. With a newfound artivism and activism on display, we celebrate you, honor your perseverance and respect your PRIDE!"

DOT will begin painting the sidewalk near the Stonewall Monument overnight starting Saturday evening, in partnership with Heritage of Pride. NYC DOT and HOP have worked closely in recent years during NYC LGBTQ Pride in preparation for the March. In addition, City Hall will be lit starting Friday at sundown through Sunday evening.

"DOT street crews are happy to add the festive colors of the iconic rainbow flag to this year's Pride Parade, including just steps away from the historic Stonewall National Monument," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "With a beautiful day expected Sunday, we want to wish all revelers a happy, safe and very proud celebration."

"NYC Pride is honored to bring Gilbert Baker's original rainbow to the very streets where the modern LGBT movement began," said David Studinski, NYC Pride Co-Chair. "We are proud to fund the installation of this exciting project. We thank the Mayor, City Council members and Department of Transportation for helping us make this long-awaited tribute a colorful reality."

New York City continues to lead the nation in protecting LGBTQ rights. Earlier this month, the de Blasio Administration published New York City's first-ever LGBTQ Healthcare Bill of Rights. In June 2016, New York City became the first municipality to launch a citywide campaign specifically affirming the right of transgender individuals to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity or expression. In March 2016, Mayor de Blasio issued an executive order requiring City agencies to ensure that employees and members of the public are given equal access to City single-sex facilities without being required to show identification, medical documentation or any other form of proof or verification of gender. In December 2015, the NYC Commission on Human Rights issued legal enforcement guidance defining specific gender identity protections under the City Human Rights Law, including equal bathroom access.

The Administration has also enhanced services to address LGBTQI homelessness, including opening a 24-hour drop-in center in Harlem specializing in the LGBTQI community, and the first-ever City-funded transitional independent living homes with specialized services for transgender youth. Earlier this year, the de Blasio Administration opened Marsha's House—named after famed LGBTQI activist Marsha P. Johnson—in the Bronx, the first-ever shelter for LGBTQI young persons in the New York City adult shelter system, offering nearly 90 homeless individuals 30 years and under the opportunity to be sheltered in a welcoming and supportive space providing targeted resources. The Administration has also funded 500 additional beds for runaway and homeless youth, all of which are available to LGBTQI youth. During FY18, the total number of beds brought online will expand to 653, with a total of 753 by end of FY19.

U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said, "LGBTQ Pride Month is a time for us to join together to celebrate the contributions that the LGBTQ community has made to our city, state, and country and recommit ourselves to keep working towards full equality for all. I am so proud that New York City has always been at the forefront of this fight and I am grateful that Mayor de Blasio is continuing that strong tradition. This weekend's parade and all of the celebrations we will see around the city are a reminder to the world that New York City is, and always will be, committed to protecting LGBTQ rights."

"When a message is important, we send it in our public spaces – in our street names, in our public art, and on the very roads themselves," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "The message today is New York wouldn't be New York without LGBT New Yorkers, and that the cause of LGBT rights and equality must be the cause of all New Yorkers. I'm glad that for Pride Weekend, the rainbow flag will adorn the street itself at Stonewall."

"I'm thrilled that a rainbow crosswalk will be painted in my Senate district near the Stonewall National Monument in time for Pride Weekend," said State Senator Brad Hoylman. "It's heartening to see that during these uncertain times for the LGBTQ population, New York City and other cities across the country have installed rainbow crosswalks as prominent symbols of acceptance and diversity. I'm grateful to Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray for this initiative and their outstanding support of our community and look forward to joining them weekend during the Heritage of Pride March."

"Wishing everyone a fabulous and happy Pride," said Assembly Member Deborah Glick. "New York City, the home of the Stonewall National Monument, continues to protect the rights of LGBTQ community. The de Blasio administration has included LGBTQ New Yorkers in their programs to address homelessness and promoted healthcare access specific to the needs of LGBTQ New Yorkers. Progressive New Yorkers appreciate Mayor de Blasio's commitment to principles of equality and diversity."

"Washington, D.C. is trying to erase all traces of us," said Council Member Corey Johnson "But here in New York, Mayor de Blasio is doing the opposite. The rainbow crosswalk in the historic heart of our community will send a message of hope in these dark times. I thank Mayor de Blasio for standing strong with the LGBT community."

"As we celebrate pride and the strides taken by the LGBT community in recent years, we recognize that there is still a long way to go in many parts of our country," said Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. "But as we do with so many things, New York will lead the way as a model to our nation. And while we still have work to do here to rid some pockets of the intolerance and misunderstanding that yields discrimination and prejudice, we face these challenges head-on. Outward displays of celebration such as this stand as a recognition of our past and a marker for a brighter future."

"This rainbow crosswalk and City Hall lighting send a powerful message that LGBT people are welcome in New York City," said Council Member Daniel Dromm. "Invisibility has always been the LGBT community's greatest obstacle. That is why bold statements such as these are so important. They serve to remind everyone that LGBT people are your family, your friends and your neighbors—and does so in a beautiful and positive way. I am proud to have worked with Mayor de Blasio to make the rainbow crosswalk a reality and thank him for taking all these actions to make our city's LGBT Pride Month more meaningful."

"This year, we have mourned the loss and honored the life of Gilbert Baker, the creator of the rainbow flag," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "This colorful symbol has united the movement for LGBTQ rights around the world for decades and the new rainbow crosswalk on Christopher Street will be a fantastic tribute to Gilbert Baker's legacy -- as well as a proud statement of New York City's commitment to equality."

"I'm excited to hear that three rainbow crosswalks will be painted on NYC streets in celebration of Pride Month, and ecstatic that one of the three will be located in my district on 24th Street and 5th Avenue," said Council Member Rosie Mendez, Chair, LGBT Caucus. "Last year, I was in awe when I came upon the rainbow crosswalks in San Francisco's Castro District and saddened that NYC DOT rules did not allow us to do so. However, DOT's rules change provides NYers with an incredible symbolic gesture of how our City believes LGBT rights are important and should be celebrated as well as protected. Important to note that Stonewall Activist Sylvia Rivera yelled out "Whose Streets, Our Streets" during the Gay Liberation Rebellion and, now, we can actually claim our streets literally by these displays."

"This visible display of support and solidarity with the LGBTQ community goes a long way in showing our values as a City and haven for marginalized community," said Council Member Ritchie Torres. "It's a great way to kick off Pride weekend."

"Pride is a celebration of all we have accomplished as a community over the years," said Council Member James Vacca. "However, this year, Pride takes on an additional meaning as we realize our fight is never finished and that we must stay vigilant against forces that seek to roll back our hard earned rights and freedoms. I'm glad that New York serves as a bulwark against regressive action on the national stage. I thank Mayor de Blasio for having City Hall lit up with the colors of the pride flag and that we will have the street painted with pride as we march on Sunday."

"The rainbow flag is a symbol of the pride, strength, and beautiful diversity of the LGBTQ community," said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. "Years ago as a young gay activist fighting for equality in Queens, I could not imagine the day would come that our rainbow flag would rise above City Hall and our movement would find fierce and devoted allies in City Hall. While we still have work to do for full equality, the lighting of City Hall, the painting of our public streets, and the raising of our flag above City Hall marks the hard-fought progress we've won together."

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