The Empire State Building is getting a Pride month makeover

Emma Powys Maurice June 23, 2019
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The Empire State Building is one of many iconic New York landmarks to be lit up in rainbow colours for Pride month

The city of New York has announced plans to light up 12 iconic buildings in rainbow colours to commemorate Pride month and show solidarity with the world LGBT+ community.

The Empire State Building is among the famous buildings selected for the project. As one of the most well-known landmarks in the city and in the world, the decision to display the rainbow flag over it sends a powerful message during Pride month.

Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Centre, the Bloomberg Headquarters and the One World Trade Centre will also be getting the rainbow treatment throughout the month as the city prepares to host World Pride, the largest Pride celebration in the world. Over four million international visitors are expected to come to the city for the celebration.

The city was chosen for the event in light of the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which occurred in Manhattan’s Greenwich village and sparked the modern LGBT+ rights movement. On June 6 the police commissioner of New York gave an official apology for the actions of officers during the riots, admitting that they were “wrong, plain and simple.”

New York shows its Pride

The city is using its global spotlight during Pride month to honour the LGBT+ community in many visible ways.

On June 6 the Pride flag flew over the state’s seat of government for the first time in history. For the entire month the building will be home to an exhibit called “Equality Will Never Be Silent,” which celebrates the state’s LGBT+ community while recognising the political, cultural and artistic impacts of 16 individual LGBT+ New Yorkers.

On June 17 The New York Commission of Human Rights temporarily renamed the historic ‘Gay Street’ to ‘Acceptance Street.’ And on June 15, the city unveiled the ‘largest ever Pride flag’ at the Four Freedoms Park – a 12-foot-by-100-foot staircase will be decorated in rainbow colours.

Elsewhere in the US, LAX airport lit up its pylons in rainbow colours, while Chicago painted rainbow pedestrian crossings on the streets.


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