It was loud, proud, and as Park Slope as it gets.
Thousands turned out to celebrate the 18th annual Brooklyn Pride festival in the neighborhood on Saturday. Former Sloper-in-chief and current Mayor De Blasio joined first lady Chirlane McCray to lead a gaggle of pols in the parade. When the marching portion of the festivities concluded, DeBlasio gave a brief speech, telling reporters he and his wife wouldn’t be caught dead at a procession that doesn’t allow gay people to participate.
“You will see Chirlane at this parade, and me at this parade, but you will not see us at a parade that excludes members of the LGBT community,” the city’s executive said, according to reports.
DeBlasio made waves in March when he refused to walk in the Manhattan Saint Patrick’s Day Parade because it excluded gay regalia.
Joining the first couple as grand marshals were Borough President Adams, Public Advocate Letitia James, and Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Sunset Park). The revelers marched down Fifth Avenue waving rainbow flags and, in the case of the Sirens Women’s Motorcycle Club, riding hogs festooned with them.
The parade capped off a day of celebrations that started with a five-kilometer run in Prospect Park and featured family-friendly entertainment throughout the day.
Simone Kolysh and Alex Floor traveled to the festival from Bensonhurst, with their three children in tow. Kolysh, who teaches women’s studies at Brooklyn College and marched with the school’s Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Alliance, said she was excited to bring together her family and her academic work.
“It was wonderful because my children are finally old enough to enjoy it,” Kolysh said. “I wanted my kids to experience a safe space, which they did.”