Annual protest and activism event includes speakers Braxton Fleming, Cecilia Gentili, Mila Jam and Kathy Najimy
NYC Pride’s annual protest and activism event, The Rally, will take place on Saturday, June 17 at 4:30pm EDT outside of the NYC Pride offices at 154 Christopher Street. The Rally, designed to advance dialogue about issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community, brings our community together to advocate for change at a time when over 650 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills are in play in state legislatures across the US, campaigning for the 2024 election cycle is beginning, calls for the the expansion of the Supreme Court are being issued and the fight for our liberation, equity and civil rights continues.
This year’s Rally will be hosted by Jordyn Jay (she/her) and Milan Garçon (she/her). Jay, Founder and Executive Director of the Black Trans Femmes in the Arts Collective (BTFA), is a community organizer, arts advocate and producer based in Brooklyn, NY. Before founding BTFA, Jay was a firm believer in the power of art to inspire radical sociopolitical change and is dedicated to using that power for Black trans liberation. Garçon, who competed with the House of Garçon on season 2 of HBO’s Legendary, is an advocate, multimedia journalist, media personality, MC, fashion influencer, model and Trans/Non-binary advocate. As a multi-talented, on-air personality and producer Garçon’s culture, ethnicity and LGBTQIA+ experience, allow them to offer unique intersectional insight in their work and advocacy.
Braxton T. Fleming (he/him) is the first openly black transgender man to pitch his company on “Shark Tank,” and the first transgender man to receive funding from two Sharks. He is the CEO and Founder of Stealth Bros. & Co., a luxury Dopp Kit supply company that provides travel and at home personal storage for GAHT and other medical necessities. Stealth Bros. & Co. is changing the daily-use medical supplies industry by making sharps containers more stylish so the people who use them don’t feel so stigmatized. With a passion for helping others, Stealth Bros. & Co. donates to members of the LGBT community in need and is a proud Certified LGBT Business Enterprise of NGLCC.
Cecilia Gentili (she/her) is an advocate, organizer and storyteller working at the intersections of sex work, immigrant rights, incarceration issues and trans liberation. She has years of experience in direct services and policy advocacy, working with organizations such as Apicha CHC, GMHC and as a founding member of both DecrimNY and Trans Equity Consulting. As a performer Gentili starred as Ms. Orlando in the hit FX Show “POSE.” She has also performed in her one-woman show “The Knife Cuts Both Ways” and in countless storytelling events across the country. Cecilia’s recently published epistolary memoir “Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist” (Little Puss, 2022) won the 2023 Stonewall Book Award.
Pop recording Artivist, transgender superstar and Senior Advisor of Trans Initiatives for global organization Outleadership, Mila Jam (she/her) is a force! Known for her pop remake “It’s Raining Them” (Spotify), she has toured internationally with Broadway’s “RENT,” headlined annual fundraiser BCEFA’s Broadway Bares and performed with Chaka Khan, Mark Ronson, Tom Ellis, Angelica Ross, Ultra Naté, Todrick Hall, Bob The Dragqueen, Laverne Cox, MJ Rodriguez, Anthony Rapp and Monet Xchange. Appearances include “Saturday Night Live,” Cadillac’s “Audacity of Blackness,” FX’s “POSE,” BBC's “The Lilly Allen Show” and MTV. Special features in Billboard, Paper, Logo, NewNowNext, OUT Magazine Them and The Phluid Project.
Award-winning actress, LGBTQIA+ ally and activist Kathy Najimy (she/her) is known for her memorable performances in “Sister Act,” “Hocus Pocus” and for voicing Peggy Hill on Fox’s “King of the Hill.” She has been named Ms. Magazine WOMAN OF THE YEAR, the NYC Lily Awards Actor/Activist of the year, has been honored with the GMHC Howard Ashman Lifetime achievement award, L.A. Shanti’s Founder award as well as the LA Gay and Lesbian Center's Distinguished Achievement award. As been an AIDS activist for over 45 years, she is an enthusiastic supporter of LGBTQIA+ and women’s rights, animal rights and a woman’s right to choose. Najimy has lent her support to a variety of worthy organizations that include NYClass, Project Angel Food, APLA, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign Fund, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Ms. Foundation, AMFAR, Planned Parenthood, Voters for Choice and NARAL.
Other featured speakers and performers include Sinia Alaia, Shéár Avory, Bryce J. Celotto, Sage Dolan-Sandrino, Claudia Haddad, Linda La, Lavender Light, Pat Martin, Miss Mojo, Sis, Martez Smith and representatives of American Indian Community House, ClubQ, GMHC, Hetrick-Martin Institute, Immigration Equality, It Gets Better Project, Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative, PFLAG, The Okra Project, SAGE and Trans Formative Schools. The event will also include ASL interpreters.