Rockefeller Center Celebrates Pride
“Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought—and continue to fight—for full equality. Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity,” President Joseph Biden wrote in a proclamation this month. Here in New York City, the theme of the 2021 event is “The Fight Continues,” and throughout the city, New Yorkers are celebrating in a packed calendar of rainbow-filled festivities. And Rockefeller Center, right in the heart of the island, is no exception—with retail and art displays across the Plaza and Concourse in a “Love Above All” celebration.
Throughout the campus, visitors will see the rainbow symbol of Pride adorning everything from the flags surrounding the Rink and pathways on the Plaza to flags in the weather room and vinyls on the glass at Top of the Rock. And later this month, Rockefeller Center is hosting a one-day celebration of love stories at 620 Loft & Garden, Top of the Rock, and Rainbow Room. Five couples—selected from submissions by the Ali Forney Center—will be married on June 26 as the finale in the month-long celebration of love.
LGBTQ artists and creators are also on display. In the windows facing 49th Street, Michael Kors is showing a special video developed in collaboration with Paper Magazine and several queer TikTok creators. And Christie’s is hosting two public shows coinciding with Pride. The “Pride @ Christie’s” show, curated from three upcoming online exhibitions, features work by David Hockney, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and more from artists that have contributed to the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, several works benefitting the arts organization Visual AIDS will be on display. “Equality, diversity, and inclusiveness—it’s in the forefront of our values and of course we have always been supporters of LGBT causes, but now, we’re joining forces with Tishman Speyer, with the city, and we’re very excited that this is happening,” says Virgilio Garza, head of Latin American Art at Christie’s in New York and a collaborator on the exhibition. The other show, “Beautiful Structures,” highlights Gloria Klein’s work from the 1970s.
Rockefeller Center retailers are also celebrating the LGBTQ community with special tributes—from food to fashion—and raising money for organizations such as The Okra Project, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, OutRight Action International, and StartOut.
“For Pride, we chose StartOut because of their dedication to supporting small businesses run by LGBTQ+ owners,” says Bobbie Lloyd, CEO of Magnolia Bakery, which is donating a portion of the proceeds from its rainbow banana pudding bowls. “They provide a great network that helps facilitate small business development within the community.
Local restaurant chain FIELDTRIP is selling Pride-themed Rainbow Crispies (crispy-rice treats) in support of the celebration. “I think for us at FIELDTRIP, we try to operate all the time to bring awareness to all cultures that feel they don’t have a voice, for people who don’t have a voice,” says FIELDTRIP chef and founder JJ Johnson. “But for Pride month, we wanted to show a little bit more appreciation for the month and for the people.”
Also in 30 Rock, Ben & Jerry’s has temporarily renamed the beloved Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to I Dough, I Dough—a flavor name that debuted in 2015 in honor of the Supreme Court’s decision that same-sex marriage is a right. “It’s really just to help bring awareness to and educate people about supporting equal rights and human rights in general,” says James Healy, a co-owner of Ben & Jerry’s NYC with his partner (in business and life), Jason Mann.
Find out what other retailers are doing to celebrate Pride this month.