June 21, 2018
Every year, the city comes together to celebrate Pride Month in June. In honor of this celebration and the many contributions the LGBTQ community has made for New York City, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray host the LGBTQ Pride Reception at Gracie Mansion. "We've come a long way since the Stonewall riots ignited a movement, but our push for progress if far from over. We have to stand united against the forces of hatred, homophobia, and transphobia, and their enablers at the highest level of government," said First Lady Chirlane McCray.
This year, Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray honored actor and singer Javier Muñoz, best known for his performances on Broadway as Usnavi in the 2008 musical In the Heights and as Alexander Hamilton in the 2015 musical Hamilton. Muñoz is the son of a Puerto Rican family and grew up in the Linden Projects in East New York, Brooklyn. Additionally, Muñoz has been an outspoken advocate for many important causes, such as working to combat the stigma associated with HIV through his candor about his own diagnosis, fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ community, and acting as an ambassador for STOMP Out Bullying. "When a person finds the courage and strength to love and live their truth, love and support must be available to and for them. When that person attends school or goes to their job, those spaces must be safe, inclusive, respectful, and equal," said Muñoz.
Both First Lady Chirlane McCray and honoree Javier Muñoz highlighted the important work of the NYC Unity Project, the City's first coordinated, multi-agency effort to address the unique challenges and needs of LGBTQ youth. To strengthen and better coordinate services across the City and ensure no young person falls through the cracks, the NYC Unity Project works collectively across 16 city agencies to better reach LGBTQ youth where they live, where they learn, and in their communities. The NYC Unity Project lays out a bold commitment to deepen and expand upon the City's investments in LGBTQ services, programs, and policy change, prioritizing the needs of LGBTQ young people. More information about the NYC Unity Project is available here.
Musical guest DJ Mary Mac also helped to keep the event energized before and after the program. DJ Mary Mac is a pioneer for female DJs all around the world and remains firm in mentoring and paving the way for the next generation of female DJs. In 2013, the Huffington Post featured DJ Mary Mac as one of the top "23 Inspiring Women Who Are Blazing Trails for the LGBT Community." Based in New York City, she grew up Rosedale, Queens where she first learned the art of turntables in the basement of her family's home.
Video description: Watch the livestream of the remarks by First Lady Chirlane McCray and Javier Muñoz at the 2018 LGBTQ Pride Month Reception.
NYC Pride kick off...Gracie Mansion; June 21st is officially “Javier Muñoz Day”#pridemonth #loveyourtruth #liveyourtruth #lgbtq #Pride @NYCMayorsOffice #lgbtqnycpride— Javier Muñoz (@JMunozActor) June 22, 2018
This is hereby a day to fiercely love yourself. You are beautiful. You are powerful. Happy Pride😘 pic.twitter.com/D688D0sQ2E
Last night we celebrated New York City's LGBTQ community at our annual #Pride event! Let's continue to draw strength from our diversity, find power in our unity, and always, ALWAYS choose love! pic.twitter.com/oCAffs7rqy— Chirlane McCray (@NYCFirstLady) June 22, 2018
We would like to acknowledge and thank our committed sponsors for their generous support of the 2018 LGBTQ Pride Month Reception: