The Pride Kickoff Rally
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Before the glittery spectacle of the Pride March and the rest of weekend festivities, gain perspective on the fights that still remain for the global LGBTQ community. This official Gay Pride Weekend opening event started as a "gay power" demonstration with 500 protestors in Washington Square Park a month after the 1969 Stonewall riots, considered the dawn of the modern gay-rights movement. Since then the rally has jumped locations all over town, including incarnations in Central Park and East River Park. Big-name performers often take the stage—Lady Gaga performed in 2013—while local politicians, comedians, and other members of the LGBT community offer both serious and silly takes on Pride themes.