After a performance by Raven-Symoné, Kimberly Marabel and Aléna Watters of a song from the Broadway musical Sister Act, comedian, actress and entertainer Whoopi Goldberg stepped up to the podium last night at Cooper Union’s Great Hall to emcee the annual City Council Pride celebration.
Ms. Goldberg remarked how she still found it hard to believe that Ms. Symoné was actually grown up, no longer the child star from the Disney Channel. Ms. Goldberg kept the crowd laughing, making jabs at her age (she stated how Susan B. Anthony had spoken in the Great Hall, and how she had been her date) and taking political swipes. She made a disgusted face as she mentioned New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and declared, “Chris, you won’t be there much longer.”
Ms. Goldberg handed the microphone over to Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who, recently married herself, emphasized that this year’s Pride Week was special as it marked the first since New York passed the Marriage Equality Act.
Ms. Quinn handed out proclamations to those who have fought for equality and made the LGBT community safer in New York, including the first public proclamation of the NYPD’s revision of its Patrol Guide to treat transgender people equally. This includes the right for a detained person to be searched by officers of the gender with which one identifies.
Also receiving a proclamation but unable to attend the event, director Dee Rees, whose film Pariah centers on a young women’s struggle to accept her sexuality, joined via a pre-recorded acceptance speech.
The third set of honorees were Hermes Mallea and Carey Maloney, co-chairs of the LGBT initiative at the New York Public Library. They announced the launch of a book drive to provide LGBT young adult novels to New York’s public schools that, as Speaker Quinn noted, would help many youth find refuge in a library.
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