I’ve been visiting New York every summer for over five years to attend the NYC LGBT Pride March as a photographer, and have never failed to be impressed by its depth and its breadth – its intensity and the range of struggles it highlights.
This exhibition focuses on two aspects of the march: the wide range of struggles that it encompasses, and the exuberance of the supporters. Anyone at the march could be forgiven for thinking that they have been transported to a parallel universe. This is not Donald Trump’s America. It’s what America strives to be: a country that demands life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all its people, irrespective of their race, religion, or sexuality. The march is a demand that the ideal be turned into reality.
The March is big. It takes over six hours for the various groups to pass. The sheer range of groups is quite amazing; for example, there are gay Mormons, lesbian communists, people struggling against circumcision, people fighting against gay repression in many different countries.
One of the most prominent themes of the march is anti-violence. This is particularly evident in the number of groups fighting to end gun violence, to end violence against women, to end police and state violence. There is also a very strong antiracist theme with groups representing the struggle against Islamophobia.
I could have called this exhibition, “Celebrating Diversity”. The joy that the march expresses does indeed demonstrate the progress made in LGBT rights, but these rights are not universal and they are everywhere under threat. My pictures stand as a reminder that we all have a responsibility to support the continuing struggle for human rights.