The grand marshals are Queens councilmen Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer. The parade organizers chose the grand marshals because as newly elected leaders, and as the borough’s first two openly gay City Council members, they reflect the growing acceptance of the LGBT community and the strides the gay community has made in and out of the borough of Queens.
With “One Heart. One World. One Pride.” as this year’s international theme, the parade kicks off at noon in Jackson Heights and starts at 85th Street and 37th Avenue, and goes down 37th Avenue, ending at 75th Street where it disperses into a festival. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is held on 37th Road stretching from 73rd to 77th Street.
This year's celebration is expected to attract the largest crowd ever, with attendance exceeding more than 50,000 people.
Dromm, who in 1992 courageously came out as an openly gay public school teacher ,is the parade’s founder and a former co-chairperson of the QLGPC. Deeply committed to civil rights and social justice, Dromm now continues to fight against prejudice, discrimination and violence as a member of the New York City Council.
"When we started this parade we wanted everyone to know that we, in the LGBT community, are their friends and neighbors, their family members and co-workers,” said Dromm. “What's special about this year's parade is that for the first time in Queens, we're also their City Council members. In many ways this parade has opened the hearts and minds of Queens residents to make this moment possible."
Before joining the City Council, Van Bramer worked as a reporter for Lesbian and Gay New York (LGNY), now Gay City News, a community newspaper, where he brought attention to the AIDS epidemic and bias/ hate crimes. He is also a former board member of Empire State Pride Agenda.
“I am truly honored to be co-grand marshal of this year’s Queens Gay Pride Parade with Councilman Dromm,” said Van Bramer. “This parade is about embracing the beauty of diversity and celebrating equality.”