New York, NY, June 6, 2022 – NYC Pride announces the fully in-person return of Youth Pride with Taylor Bennett as headliner along with co-hosts Ezra Michel and Ruba Wilson. Youth Pride returns to Rumsey Playfield at Central Park in partnership with founding sponsor Target, It Gets Better, and GLSEN.
Taylor Bennett is a multi-genre artist and LGBTQ advocate whose new album Coming of Age seamlessly blends alternative, rock n’ roll, hip-hop, R&B and more. Taylor and his Grammy winning brother Chance grew up on the south side of Chicago. In 2017, Taylor came out as bisexual to publicly voice his continued support for the LGBTQ+ community. With his “Be Yourself Pt.2” song and his apparel collection Be Yourself, which continues to sell out, Taylor wanted to inspire and celebrate our differences. He hopes to show that no matter who you like, no matter what race you are, no matter where you are from, it is all about love.
This year’s Youth Pride comes at a time when queer affirmation is needed most for young LGBTQ+ people. The past several years have seen a growing, and in the past year escalating, series of attacks on LGBTQ youth and families, in particular transgender and non-binary youth. States across the nation are introducing - and passing - legislation that censors inclusive curriculum in school, notably the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida. Trans youth and their families are being directly targeted with laws that ban participation in sports and, even more devastating, laws that restrict access to trans-affirming health care and even extreme measures that criminalize a family’s decision to support and affirm their child’s gender identity. NYC Pride is committed to creating safe spaces for queer youth to gather in community and to love and live their truth.
This year’s Youth Pride is co-hosted by Ezra Michael and Ruba Wilson. Ezra Michel is an LA based multidisciplinary trans creator who began posting his self-produced music on TikTok in 2020. He hosted the 2019 Trans Pride LA VarieTy Show, performed in Alexandra Billings’ I’m Still Queer: A Trans American Cabaret, Bob the Drag Queen’s Purse First Music Sessions, countless California pride events, and appears as the first out trans masculine actor on a Telemundo series. Ruba Wilson is a TV host, on-air personality, model, and social media influencer specializing in lifestyle, music, and fashion. Wilson most recently hosted Peacock’s entertainment news show "Lit News" and was named to Paper Magazine’s "Most Beautiful People."
Other featured performances and appearances include Keiynan Lonsdale, keiyaA, Ashlee Keating, Grag Queen, Lolita Leopard and The Family Presents Cinderfella, Lyle Anthony, Tai’Aysha, Marquise Vilson, members of the cast of TREVOR the musical, Noa Kirel, Tangina Stone, Gotham Cheer and Schulyer Bailar. DJ Karaba joins as House DJ.
Youth Pride is produced in partnership with founding sponsor Target, It Gets Better, Sound Mind, Gotham Cheer, Thayers, and GLSEN.
“We are thrilled to be back in-person to partner with NYC Pride for this year's celebration of Youth Pride.” said Eboni Munn, Director, Brand Marketing, Content & Creative at It Gets Better. “Building a sense of community with LGBTQIA+ teens and allies while uplifting and empowering the dynamic voices of Gen Zers aligns with the very core of our mission."
NYC Pride is committed to creating safe, inclusive and accessible spaces. With that, Youth Pride will stream from Rumsey Playfield, in Central Park. Youth organizations will join remotely to provide watch party experiences across the country. Streaming partners include Dutchess County Pride Center (NY), Firehouse Shelter (AL), LGBTQ Center at UNF (FL), Louisville Youth Group (KY), Wanda Alston Foundation (DC), Xchange For Change (NY), Magic City Acceptance Center (AL), High School of Fashion Industries GSA (NY), North Kansas City YMCA (KC), Sacramento LGBT Community Center (CA), Youth Oasis (LA), Uplift Outreach Center (SC), Colors+ (OH), Colectiva Queer (FL), YMCA of the Rockies (CO), YMCA of Central Ohio and many more.
Youth Pride will take place at Rumsey Playfield at Central Park on Saturday June 25 at 1:00pm EDT. The event is free, but RSVP is required via nycpride.org/tickets. Youth Pride will also be streamed live at nycpride.org/youthpride.
For more information about NYC Pride 2022 visit: www.nycpride.org.
Dan Dimant | Media Director
Cathy Renna | Media Consultant
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.