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After LGBT Victory on Fifth Ave, Sunnyside’s St. Pat’s For All Parade to Continue with its Message of Inclusion

St Pats

Sept. 30, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge

Sunnyside’s annual St. Pat’s For All Parade will march in a new era, following a historic decision from its counterpart on Fifth Avenue.

On Monday, the board of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade voted to invite an Irish LGBT group – the Lavender & Green Alliance – to its celebrations, after more than two decades of exclusion.

This is the second LGBT group permitted to march with banners on Fifth Avenue, and the first specifically Irish group. For many advocates, last year’s invitation to Out@NBC – an LGBT group within the TV network – did not represent a significant enough gesture for inclusion to end years of boycotts.

“Perhaps I never expected it to take so long. A quarter of a century is a long time,” Brendan Fay, founder and chair of the Lavender & Green Alliance, said. “But my motto always has been, ‘it’s always a no until it’s a yes.’”

“It was a very profound moment, after being excluded for 25 years,” he added.

Fay is also co-chair of the St. Pat’s For All Parade, which takes place on Skillman Avenue each year and focuses on diversity and inclusivity. St. Pat’s For All was first held in 2000 as a response to LGBT exclusion from the mainstream parade.

He said that although its founding mission has been accomplished, the parade will continue, remaining committed to inclusion and growth.

“The origins of St. Pat’s For All were in the exclusion of the LGBT community,” Fay said. “Of course, it has evolved and grown, as more ethnic groups have participated, and this year I hope we’re going to see even more groups participating.”

“We will be back on Skillman Avenue next March, for what is now really the most diverse and inclusive St. Pat’s in the city,” he added.

Fay was also quick to note what he called the “significant impact” of St. Pat’s For All and its local supporters on the shift towards LGBT inclusion.

“The people of Sunnyside and Woodside [have] shown what a hospitable and inclusive cultural celebration looks like, and I believe now that spirit has impacted and helped transform the big parade on Fifth Avenue,” he said.

St. Pat’s For All 2016 will take place on the first Sunday in March, as is tradition, Fay said.

“Since 2016 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising, the birth of Irish independence, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 17 is a special opportunity for renewed commitment to Irish values and traditions, and the Irish role in the 21st Century,” John Lahey, chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Board said in a statement.

“We are working with the Irish government in this anniversary year to teach our young people the lessons of sacrifice and heroism, of love and tolerance, embodied in the Irish spirit.”

The Manhattan parade will take place on March 17.

Reach reporter Jackie Strawbridge at [email protected]

email the author: [email protected]

22 Comments

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Luvu2

This parade is silly it is for lazy politicians to show how tolerant they are . This is the same group that is selling our neighborhood down the river . I heard a rumor jimmy van Bramer is hay

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Proud Irishman

By the way the FOR ALL PARADE is more about gay pride and less about Irish culture. It makes no sense at all.

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Proud Irishman

Dear Mr O’Malley be proud of yourself and your heritage enough to push all of that gay pride to your month of June. You have an entire month celebrate your wonderful gay pride. In March on one we celebrate Ireland and our heritage. Don’t muddy the water please.

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Sir Walter Raleigh

O’Malley I agree 100 %! the world is changing for the better and the racist sexist and anti gays bigots who come on here are being left behind.

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Rocky Balboa

This is not an Irish parade or a parade honoring a saint. This is basically a gay pride parade (which is fine) pretending to be an Irish parade. Very few people actually watch it. And people such as Joe Crowley, Bill Deblasio et al get to preen and show how “tolerant’ they are. they are not tolerant.

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Give it a rest already

You’re gay, we get it.

Stop reminding us every two seconds.

The universe doesn’t revolve around your sex life.

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Just Saying

Looking forward to the upcoming NYC Council’s FALN/Rosenberg float in the For All parade.

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Proud Irishman

All this gay pride cheats us of our right to celebrate our culture!!!!
There are gay west indians – gay puerto ricans gay indians etc.
No other nationality goes through what we Irish go through!
If you love irish culture show – The gay pride belongs PRIDE MONTH.
HELLO.

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O'Malley

I’m gay and I’m Irish. Why can’t I celebrate my culture, and be proud of a very important part of myself? Why must I minimize, or downplay who I am and who I love because it makes people uncomfortable? There is clearly bigotry and ignorance behind many of the statements on this thread, even though they profess they “don’t have a problem with gays”. And that makes it even more important to speak out in favor of gay rights. The fact that you say you feel “cheated” shows how scared and selfish you are.

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Hail Satan!

Opps didn’t realize I did two posts of similar points wirh one as anonymous visitor. Ah well never mind! HAIL SATAN!!

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Hail Satan!

The only a holes at the st pats for all parade are the bible bashing bigots who like to say shame and sodomy a lot. Get over it people and enjoy freedom. These idiots should be more concerned about the evil filth that resides within their ludicrous church.

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Anonymous visitor

The biggest a holes at the st pats for all parade are the bible bashing hate mongering bigot who like to say the word sodomy and shame a lot! Apart from those individuals its a very feel good get together. I never witnessed anyone “rubbing their sexuality in people’s faces” . Get over it people and be glad we can celebrate freedom in this great nation. And as for st .Patrick? He started a right royal mess in Ireland didnt he. The Catholic bible bashers should worry more about the evil that resides in that ludicrous religion.

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Neighbor

To all my gay friends and neighbors. I apologize for all these ignorant comments. We love you and celebrate you.

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Astoria Resident

Selfish? This a parade honoring a saint. Why don’t they walk with a banner during the gay pride parade announcing that they’re Irish?

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Oil. Beef, Hooked

You are correct. This is all about sticking their sexuality in everyone’s faces, hoping to provoke a reaction so they can play the victim card. It’s also a matter of ego. The gay community doesn’t want to admit that the vast majority of people simply don’t give a flying rat’s arse where they put their willies as long as it’s among consenting adults.

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Pat

Brendan Fay you were not excluded for 25 years. You excluded yourself. You could have marched anytime with a county, a school, an organization . They don’t have a need to push their sexuality in the faces of others. Who cares. Do what you want in that direction.,
…The Skillman Av St Pat’s parade is a joke. It has nothing to do with honoring St Patrick nor the history of Ireland nor the people who emigrated to this country, and many to Woodside …

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enough about gays already dammit!

as a heterosexual man i am begging everyone to please stop talking about gays, i am so freakin tired of this topic. i am not anti gay but i am just kinda had enough of the constant media barrage. Dislike this comment all u want, i wont be back to see.

headin over to the masterbator story…

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Kramden's Delicious Marshall

I’m getting tired of their perpetual whining too. I couldn’t care less what they do in their bedrooms.

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