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AS THE BRUTAL WINTER CONCLUDED MANY BREATHED A SIGH OF RELIEF AND REJOICED, FOR NOT ONLY CAN THE SHORTS COME OUT BUT SOMETHING GREAT WOULD BE CLOSE AT HAND, ALMOST LIKE A REWARD FOR BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY THE CONSTANT SNOW STORMS. ONCE AGAIN, QUEENS PRIDE IS HERE!

It was an honor to be asked to host the stage for Queens Pride 2014. I always considered it the official kickoff of the NYC Pride month celebrations. I was immediately taken on a trip down memory lane once I excitedly accepted.

I recall the years post-Y2K when I performed and hosted stages for Atlantis and Music Box. I performed on the Atlantis stage in the early years, the Pride main stage
as a member of the Krash Follies and at the neighboring clubs and bars. The feeling of family fills the air, always creating a sense of warm familiarity that cannot only
be felt but also seen. The many entertainers, legends and newcomers dazzle the crowds in barely-there outfits, impersonations that are spot on and mind bewildering
leaving those who do not frequent the nightclubs and bars astonished. I enjoyed this thrilling day alongside legends such as Barbra Herr, Jessica Fox, Cherry Pie, Josie Monroe, Candis Cane and many others. The atmosphere was always extremely warm and friendly. It was impossible to take two steps without being hugged by some enthusiastic trans-woman/man, new in her/his identification, a lesbian who remembered the shows at Krash, a peer or colleague you had not seen for a while or entranced by some super gorgeous young hot boy/man all celebrating their pride.

Organizers this year have come together to recreate this sea of love, freedom and ethnicity that brings radiance to the Queens streetswith many vendors serving a variety of foods, entertainer/performers who have thrilled us throughout the years, organizations that continue to promote equality, healthier living and provide important information and links to healthcare no matter one’s identification, orientation or status. Queens Pride not only aims to celebrate but also to educate.

The Pride festival kicks off with the parade around noon at 86th St. and ends at 75th Street on 37th Avenue. The floats and costumes of the parade transport you to one of the many islands/countries from which these predominantly Latino participants hail to a time during a sort of Carnival celebration. The extravagance is mind boggling and entertaining as they prance by enjoying the music and dancingly freely without showing any signs of fatigue. The messages are never lost, and the importance of Pride
is seen as the floats of the organizations go by and as the well-wishers, allies and politicians march along. The street fair is located between 75th and 77th St. between Roosevelt Ave. to 37th Ave. The Roosevelt MTA train and bus station is located across from the Queens Pride stage and gets into full gear once the parade ends, and goes till 7 p.m.

The entertainers slated to appear are Anthony Rodriguez, Lovari, Cheer NY, Anthony Bruno, Tony Harris, CJ Tyson, Ms. Rey & her LaGuardia High School performers, Ghostmouse and The Bleed. And of course it is hosted by the me, Tyra A. Ross!

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