This summer, get ready to celebrate Pride like never before. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, NYC Pride is hosting WorldPride, the first time the massive international celebration has come to America in the event’s nearly 20 year history.
Iconic events like the NYC Pride March and PrideFest will be bigger and better than ever before, while the entire month of June will boast an array of events and activities in the city where the contemporary LGBTQ+ liberation movement began.
All that’s missing is you.
“I grew up in the midwest, not necessarily the most welcoming place for people who were different,” said Brian Heck, a fifth year Pride volunteer. “When I first came to New York and saw the march, I was really inspired by all the diversity I saw; I knew then that I wanted to save up money so I could move to New York.”
From cosplay to cinema, there are activities awaiting to please every stripe in the LGBTQ+ rainbow. In fact, WorldPride 2019 is themed “Millions of moments of Pride” celebrating the countless diverse experiences of our unique community.
“My first Pride was in 1998,” said 20-year Pride volunteer, Diana. “Other people have told me, ‘Diva, you did Pride in 1998, and you’re still doing it?’ I say ‘Well, it’s something that I like and I enjoy, so I’m going to continue doing it.'”
There are so many ways to be a part of WorldPride, but the most important way is to volunteer. This movement was started by LGBTQ+ people, and it’s the community that will continue this fight for acceptance, equality and dignity. With such a massive non-profit event coming together, volunteers are crucial part of WorldPride’s success.
“I wanted to be a volunteer, because this is how we bring that to the next generation,” said second-year volunteer Hannah Simpson. “To say this didn’t end 50 years ago, this just began.”
When volunteering with NYC Pride, there’s a chance to make real, significant input to the planning and execution of the largest Pride celebration in New York City’s history. Organizers work with volunteers to find a suitable assignment that leverages their temperament, experience and personal preference.
In addition to the satisfaction of being part of the history-making affair, volunteers have the chance to forge connections and support other members of the community. Long-lasting friendships are created between volunteers, and the experience is designed to re-energize the community. Volunteers are motivated by helping others, and they inspire the people they work with.
“It’s necessary for me to stand up and speak out and volunteer and inspire,” said first-year volunteer Keith Young. “It’s my purpose to help people.”
Volunteers have a unique opportunity to especially affect change with the younger generation.
If you’re interested in volunteering at WorldPride this summer visit nycpride.org/volunteer.
“People who want to help out and volunteer who are under 21, a lot of them do not have the support from their family, they’re not out, they’re looking for that sense of community,” Heck said. “We’re here to let them know that it’s ok, and they don’t have to go through this alone.”