New York, NY, May 18, 2023 – NYC Pride announces its Grand Marshals slated to lead the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 25, 2023. Billy Porter, Yasmin Benoit, AC Dumlao, Hope Giselle and Randolfe “Randy” Wicker will head this year’s celebration, with Angelica Ross returning for a third year as co-host and featured performer of the broadcast special on ABC-7.
Billy Porter (he/him) is a GRAMMY®, EMMY® and two time Tony® Award winner. Porter began his music career in 1997 with the release of his self-titled (aka Untitled) debut album which spawned the Top 10 “Bubbling Under” single, “Show Me” and the monster ballad, “Love Is On The Way,” which also appeared at the pivotal moment in the film, “First Wives Club.” He went on to release “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul” (2005), “Billy's Back on Broadway” (2014) and “The Soul of Richard Rodgers” (2017) featuring Pentatonix, India.Arie, Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo, among others. Porter scored his first #1 with “Love Yourself” in 2019 on the US Dance Club Songs Chart. He followed that up with his 2020 reimagining of the legendary Buffalo Springfield anthem, “For What It's Worth,” and a fierce collab with The Shapeshifters on “Finally Ready.” 2021 saw Porter covering Juliet Roberts club classic “Caught in The Middle” for Red Hot + Free, which supports underserved communities afflicted with HIV/AIDS. He was also enlisted by multiplatinum international superstar Jessie J for “I Want Love.” And he delivered a magical turn on Earth, Wind, and Fire's iconic “Shining Star” as Fab G, the Fairy Godmuva, in the 2021 remake of “Cinderella.” Porter is a veteran of the theater (“Miss Saigon,” “Angels in America,” “Grease”), and a two time Tony® winner, including “Best Leading Actor in a Musical” for “Kinky Boots” in 2013 and “Best Musical” as a producer for “A Strange Loop” in 2022. He has also received a GRAMMY® for the “Kinky Boots” original Broadway cast recording in the category of “Best Musical Theater Album” in 2014. Porter took home the EMMY® Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” in 2019 for his work as Pray Tell on “Pose,” making history as being the first openly gay man to do so. TIME Magazine named him one of the “100 Most Influential People” of 2020. Porter released his highly anticipated memoir, “Unprotected,” in October 2021. His directorial film debut, “Anything's Possible,” dropped Summer 2022 to much acclaim. Now, Porter kicks off his next chapter in music, his first love, with new album “The Black Mona Lisa” arriving Fall 2023. Make sure to check out his new single “Fashion” to be released this Friday, May 19.
Yasmin Benoit (she/her) is an award-winning British asexual activist, writer, speaker, researcher, model and project consultant. She began modeling with the aim of providing more diverse representation for Black women, and has appeared in campaigns for Mercedes, Ann Summers and others. Dubbed the "unlikely face of asexuality" by Cosmopolitan Magazine after publicly coming out as aromantic-asexual in 2017, Yasmin created the popular #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike movement, became a board member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) and co-founded International Asexuality Day (April 6). Her unconventional approach to activism has attracted the attention of international press, she became the first asexual person to appear on the cover of Attitude Magazine, and she opened the world's first asexual pop-up bar in partnership with Budweiser. Yasmin won a 2021 Attitude Pride Award for her activism, making her the first openly aromantic-asexual activist to win an LGBTQ+ award. She was featured on the Attitude101 Influential Figures List, the Visible100 List and recently launched the UK's first asexual rights initiative in partnership with Stonewall: the Stonewall x Yasmin Benoit Ace Project. Recently, Yasmin won Campaigner/Influencer of the Year at the Rainbow Honours and became a celebrity ambassador for The Prince's Trust.
AC Dumlao (they/he) is the Chief of Staff at Athlete Ally, a nonprofit working to educate and activate athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports and to exercise their leadership to champion LGBTQI+ equality. They are also the creator of the Facebook page “Call Me They,” where they share news and commentary from their perspective as a queer trans non-binary first-generation Filipinx-American. For their education and advocacy work, AC was named a NYC/WorldPride Community Hero during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. AC was also named an “emerging voice” by NBC Asian America for their inaugural “Redefine A to Z” series and featured in Mashable’s “30 Days of Pride: The LGBTQ figures making history right now." AC is passionate about providing representation to queer and trans young people of color and has given keynotes at high schools and colleges across the country. An alum of Vassar College, AC serves as co-chair of Vassar’s LGBTQ+ alums group and Board Director for Vassar’s Alumnae/i Association.
Hope Giselle (she/her) is a highly respected National Organizer, Author, Artist and Activist. She co-founded Alabama State University's first LGBT organization while earning a Master's in Fine Arts and certifications from Harvard and SHRM. Hope is the founder of the non-profit organization AllowMe and serves as the Training Director of Get Phluid. She has worked with numerous organizations, including NASA and the Human Rights Campaign, to amplify the voices of marginalized communities. As a two-time best-selling author, columnist and nationally recognized panelist, Hope's passion for inclusion and social justice has inspired many to join the fight.
Randolfe “Randy” Wicker (he/him) has been a trailblazer in civil rights and LGBTQIA+ activism for over six decades. He broke ground in 1962 by organizing the first radio broadcast where homosexuals spoke for themselves, and, in 1964, he was the first homosexual spokesperson answering live phone calls on television. As a Mattachine, in 1966, he was one of five who demanded public accommodation for homosexuals at Julius Bar. Other examples of Randy's advocacy include sitting in for integrating lunch counters in the 1950s; advocating for legalized abortion, the decriminalization of marijuana, sex workers rights, ending the Vietnam War, and allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed services; housing Marsha P. Johnson and fighting to have her suspicious death investigated; and supporting the work of Sylvia Rivera. Most recently, Randy has focused on publicizing the persecution of LGBTQIA+ people, particularly in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“With legislation targeting LGBTQIA+ rights having more than doubled since last, the annual NYC Pride March remains not only relevant but incredibly necessary,” said Bansri Manek, NYC Pride March Director. “Embodying our theme of Strength in Solidarity, each of this year's grand marshals have used their platforms to bridge gaps within our community to bring about positive change for all marginalized voices.
The NYC Pride March will begin at noon on June 25th from 25th Street and 5th Avenue. Marchers will proceed south on 5th Avenue before heading west on 8th Street. After crossing over 6th Avenue, the March will continue on Christopher Street passing the Stonewall National Monument. It will then turn north on 7th Avenue, passing the New York City AIDS Memorial, before dispersing in Chelsea at 16th Street and 7th Avenue. More than 75 percent of all marching groups are non-profit organizations, and more than half of all marching groups are participating free-of-charge.
The NYC Pride March broadcast special, co-hosted by Angelica Ross, will return for its seventh consecutive year. Featuring live performances and on-air interviews, the broadcast will air on ABC-7 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm ET on Sunday, June 25 as well on ABC7NY.com, ABC News Live, and ABC7 New York’s Connected TV Apps on streaming platforms Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.
For more information about NYC Pride’s 2023 roster of events including the NYC Pride March, visit: www.nycpride.org.
David Clarke | Senior Communications Manager
Dan Dimant | Media Director
ABOUT HERITAGE OF PRIDE Heritage of Pride, Inc. is the volunteer-directed organization behind the official NYC Pride roster of events. Heritage of Pride’s mission is to work toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. We do this by producing LGBTQIA+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate, and celebrate our diverse community.