Black, gay and proud at Harlem Pride event

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Harlem NY — June is National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, and in New York the celebrations were louder and prouder than ever, thanks to the passing of the Marriage Equality Act.

In Harlem, LGBT people of color and local elected officials showed their support and pride for same sex marriages at the second annual Harlem Pride Party at Marcus Garvey Park.

The number of people who attended the first Harlem Pride block party in 2010, swelled into the hundreds, confirming to organizers that Harlem’s LGBT residents needed an outlet to congregate and celebrate their diversity within the community.

“Heritage Pride the LGBTQ is the current pride that sponsors the major pride in New York City for 30 plus years and running, but we felt it never came up above 100 street,” said organizer Lawrence Rodriguez. “We kind of felt not included, we never felt excluded, but there were never activities above 100 street, so we thought we should bring that up here.”

Although the LGBT Community in Harlem is proud of the major advances towards equality, they also know that the road to complete acceptance from all their neighbors, is still years away.

Antoine Craigwell is a Harlem Pride panelist and blogs about depression within the gay black male community.

“As long as society and families continue to reject the concept of two people of the same sex having a relationship there will always be objections,” he said. “It’s going to take some time for the black family lead by the black church to come to that [positive] position.”