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Heritage of Pride (HOP dba NYC Pride) is a non-profit organization that produces the official New York City LGBTQIA+ Pride Week events each June. HOP began working on New York City's Pride events in 1984, taking on the work previously done by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee, organizers of the first March in 1970. It was that first march which brought national attention to 1969's Stonewall Riots. The late sixties saw numerous protests and riots across the United States surrounding a myriad of social injustice and political unrest issues. Few have left a legacy like this organization continues; it is a human rights problem still unresolved today.
After June 1970's events in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Pride chapters formed in cities across the US. Pride London was the first non-US city to rise in support of Gay Rights in 1972 and Pride festivals (or Christopher Street Days) now occur on six continents. The official LGBTQIA+ Pride events for New York City end on the last Sunday of each June. Additional New York City events in the outer boroughs are organized by Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island Pride chapters. Antarctica has yet to officially organize a Pride chapter, but in 2016, it was declared the world's first LGBT friendly continent.
HOP is a volunteer spearheaded organization working by Robert's Rules 50 weeks a year to execute the activities of NYC Pride Week. The voting membership elects two Co-Chairs onto an Executive Board with Committee Directors. Until 2002 all NYC Pride Week activities were organized by volunteers. That January Anthony D. Dean began work as the first full-time paid Business Development Director of NYC Pride events. By late 2016 HOP had five employees working year-round from a rented basement office on Christopher Street. They assist in coordinating the desires of Membership- who work on behalf of the larger community. Membership is open to all individuals.
What began as a March has grown to more than a dozen events which comprise NYC PRIDE week including The March, The Rally, PrideFest, and Pride Island- a multi-day cultural experience (evolution from Dance on the Pier: 1987-2017). Pride Island is the final event held each year. Starting on June 24, 1990 that closing event has culminated with the second largest annual fireworks display in Manhattan, bested only by Macy's 4th of July Fireworks. During Pride Month many facets of the community gather and join voices. In 2017, ABC7 broadcast three hours of HOP's Pride March for the first time, also making some content available on the Internet. The run time of the March was 9 hours, 38 minutes. The broadcast was nominated for a 2018 New York Emmy Award.
In July 2009 HOP began planning for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Additional programming was envisioned for the coming years and by 2011 had become a reality. In 2014 World Bank began discussing the economic cost of exclusion.UNHRC's Free & Equal has put that figure at 5% of GDP.
In 1997 HOP hosted the 16th annual conference of InterPride where the membership voted to establish WorldPride events, the first of which was WorldPride Rome 2000. HOP bid for and won the WorldPride title licensed by InterPride to host the 2019 WoldPride events.
In 2017, the LGBT Pride March brought together more than 450 contingents including 110 floats and had a running time of 9 hours 38 minutes. That route traversed Fifth Avenue below the NYPL and after turning on 8th Street included more of Greenwich Village. The 1970 March was up Sixth Avenue and ended with a Gay-In in Sheeps Meadow, Central Park. The route itself has changed direction and span many times. That such a demonstration occurs without resolution annually is addressed at dinner tables and courthouses throughout the world. The March route in New York does pass in front of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, location of the Stonewall riots which launched the modern gay rights movement.
Heritage of Pride is a founding member of InterPride and a member of Northeast Regional Pride, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
The theme chosen for 2018 was "Defiantly Different". The opening event held on June 14, 2018 was HOP's inaugural Human Rights Conference, held at SUNY Global Center and included 20 different workshops and panel discussions. Programming was a collaborative effort of HOP, SUNY, United Nations, GMHC, SAGE, OutRight Action International and The NYC LGBT Center with participation from a range of others including Columbia Law School, Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, OutServe-SLDN, The Dru Project, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
HOP's works toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. They do this by producing LGBTQIA+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate their diverse community.