PHOTOS | Bronx BP’s LGBTQ+ Taskforce Pride party has special message for youth

Gibson Pride party 2024
This year, the Bronx Borough President’s LGBTQ+ Taskforce threw its Pride Party at Beatstro Restaurant in Mott Haven on Friday, June 14. The theme was loud and proud with a special focus on protecting queer youth. “This is about our young people who may struggle with who they are. Who may not be okay with who God made them to be. We want to make sure our young people have spaces where they can talk about what they’re feeling,” Vanessa Gibson said to a cheering crowd. “So, in honor of pride, let us raise our flags in honor of those that came before us. Let us remain committed to fighting together, loving each other as brothers and sisters.”
Photo ET Rodriguez
Vivika Westwood (l.), sitting with Maxxx Tsunami, was the mistress of ceremonies at the BP’s Pride party. “I would tell [the youth] that they’re not alone,” said Westwood. “My wish for them is that they understand that they come from a community that is as old as existence. We have always been here — and we’ll always be here.”Photo ET Rodriguez
Performer Maxxx Tsunami gave it her all as she strut up and down the restaurant and got down on the floor at the Bronx BP’s Pride Party on Friday, June 14. “People need to see that we’re a community,” said Tsunami. “We’re here for love and we’re here for support and entertainment.”Photo ET Rodriguez
City Council Member, Althea Stevens, received the John F. Wade Memorial award, named after the former Bronx Borough President staffer and LGBTQ+ activist who died in 2011. “I am not only an ally, I am a friend. I am with you,” said Stevens.Photo ET Rodriguez
Gibson’s Pride party also recognized the efforts of those who have been working with and for the LGBTQ+ community. “Trans is beautiful. That’s right, look at me, goddammit,” said Asha Lyons while accepting her proclamation from the BP. The social worker for the Visiting Nurse of New York has been in her field helping people for more than two decades. “I decided to become a therapist because at 16 I attempted suicide and thankfully I wasn’t successful,” she said.
Friends Chenee Lopez (l.) and Albert Peña were at the BP’s Pride party on Friday night. “As a youth, it was the bullying, but as I grew up, I learned to love myself,” said Peña. “It takes time, so give it time. Be who you are. Love yourself.”Photo ET Rodriguez
Spanish singer, Tano, took off his velor shirt and had people dancing and grinding at Beatstro’s Pride party. The Puerto Rican artist also performed at this year’s Puerto Rican Day parade earlier this month.Photo ET Rodriguez
The crowd at Beatstro restaurant on Friday, June 14, was shoulder to shoulder, illustrating how pervasive the LGBTQ+ community is in the Bronx. A 2020 poll by Gallup found individuals today are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than they were 10 years ago and one in five Gen-Zers identify as LGBTQ+, stressing the importance of visibility and inclusion.Photo ET Rodriguez
Currently there are several hundred anti-LGBTQ+ bills being passed across the nation, including denying individuals the right to use gendered restrooms they most identify with. To quote pop icon, Lady Gaga, “I’m beautiful in my way ’cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way.”Photo ET Rodriguez