By Shirley N Lew
AsAmNews New York Correspondent
Under a blue sky with a sea of rainbow, New York City’s Pride Parade could not have been more celebratory. After the massacre of 49 people and injuring of 53 at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, FL, New Yorkers packed 5th Avenue from 36th street to Christopher and Bleeker Streets in the East Village where it came to a final close.
Cecilia Chung the Senior Strategist of the Transgender Law Center was one of three grand marshals. For over 30 years, she has been an advocate of HIV/AIDS awareness, human rights and social justice. Chung is also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
I asked Chung as she rode by sitting on top of a sports car, “What does it mean to be an Asian American and in the parade?”
Chung replied, “I think that it means a lot to have the visibility within the community for so long and I really appreciate New York, the heritage and pride inviting me to participate.”
Chung was joined by two other grand marshals, Subhi Nahhad, a gay Syrian refugee that spoke before the United Nations on the persecution of his sexuality and Jazz Jennings, a 15-year-old and co-founder of the Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation.
Last Friday, President Obama declared Stonewall Inn in New York, the birthplace of the gay civil rights movement a national monument, part of America’s National park system.
“Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national park should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and the uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together and out of many we are one. That’s what make us the greatest nation on earth and it’s why we celebrate at Stonewall. For our generation and for all those who come after us, “ said Obama.
Drisdee Shakya, marching in the parade told me, “Amazing! It’s good to support all kinds of people not only Asian Americans, but everyone around us.”
“Proud gay Asian American! We have to celebrate today. It’s an honor and privilege to be out here today,” Said Norm Chu with his husband from Connecticut.
How did you celebrate NY Pride week?
Why are there still obstacles for you, if any, as an Asian American in telling your family your sexuality?
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