Staten Island holds first ever alternative LGBTQ+ inclusive St Patricks Day parade

After years of activism, the Pride Center of Staten Island got to celebrate queer Irish heritage at the alternative St Patrick's Day parade.

Group of people hold Pride banner in inclusive Staten Island St Patricks Day parade
Image: @pridecentersi via Instagram

On Sunday, March 17, New York’s Staten Island borough successfully hosted their first alternative LGBTQ+ inclusive St Patrick’s Day parade.

New York City lifted the ban on LGBTQ+ participation in the Manhattan St Patrick’s Day parade in 2014, but Staten Island refused to let queer groups march, claiming gay people do not belong at an event celebrating a Catholic saint.

After a decade of activism, the Pride Center of Staten Island finally got to march in their local streets to celebrate their Irish heritage and queer identities. The parade route was lined with people waving Pride flags and wearing inclusive t-shirts.

After years of excluding LGBTQ+ groups in their official St Patrick’s Day parade this year, on February 22, Mayer Eric Adams announced that the borough will now offer two St Patrick’s Day parades on separate dates and that he would attend the alternative parade instead.

The official parade was held on Sunday, March 3, and the new LGBTQ+ inclusive parade took place on St Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17.


The parade kicked off at 12pm from Hart Boulevard and Forest Avenue and concluded on Broadway. The history-making day was full of love, unity, and inclusion.

Unlike the traditional Staten Island St Patrick’s Day parade, which forbids marchers from marching with Pride flags or banners celebrating LGBTQ+ organisations, this inclusive parade invited everyone in the community to represent their organisation.

Despite receiving backlash from the Catholic League, Mayor Eric Adams called the inclusive parade “a brilliant idea”.

The Pride Center of Staten Island said: “Thank you to all the supporters cheering us on down Forest Ave! It was an incredible feeling walking under the pride center banner celebrating Irish Heritage!”


Staten Island remains the only known ​​location in the US that bans LGBTQ+ groups from participating in their St Patrick’s Day parade. Many residents, businesses, and elected officials, including New York City Mayor Eric Adam, have boycotted the official event in the past.

LGBTQ+ activist Brendan Fay said: “I’m a New Yorker and I’m gay and I’m proud to be here today,” Fay added: “It sends a beautiful message to young gay lesbian, bisexual youth that you belong.”

Executive Director of Pride Center of Staten Island, Carol Bullock, said: “For the first time on Staten Island, I couldn’t be more proud and grateful, and for the support of the mayor – to feel the love and unity here.”

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