Pride Month Reflections

Dear friends,

As Pride Month comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what Pride means to me, the growth of our tours, and some memorable stories from this past month. Founding Christopher Street Tours and sharing LGBTQ+ history truly feels like my life’s work and greatest honor, and there were so many reminders of that during this Pride Month.

For me, Pride is more than just a month of celebrations, parades, and rainbow flags. It always has been. Pride is a powerful reminder of our community’s resilience, courage, and determination. It’s a time to honor the pioneers who paved the way for our rights and to acknowledge the ongoing struggles that many still face.

When I first started Christopher Street Tours in 2018, I had a simple vision: to create a space where people could learn about the LGBTQ+ history that has shaped New York City and, by extension, the world. Over the years, our tours have grown not only in numbers and scale but also across other neighborhoods and, most recently, other cities!

This past month, Christopher Street Tours developed two new tours: our Cambridge LGBTQ+ Visionaries walking tour, which highlights the many ‘firsts’ in LGBTQ+ organizing and the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and our NYC Queer History Bar Crawl, which combines the history of LGBTQ+ activism with the vibrant nightlife of iconic NYC queer bars. Both new ventures aim to bring our passion and depth of storytelling to new audiences, celebrating local heroes and historic events that have shaped the broader LGBTQ+ movement. Our team’s dedication ensures these tours will be as impactful and enriching as our other offerings.

Another exciting development has been the growth of our team. We now have a full group of educators, storytellers, and local activists who are just as passionate about sharing LGBTQ+ history as I am. Their dedication and expertise have allowed us to reach even more people and offer a richer, more diverse perspective on our tours. I am incredibly grateful for their hard work and commitment to our mission.

In addition, my own personal tours this past Pride Month have been particularly memorable, filled with poignant moments and heartfelt connections. Here are a few anecdotes that stand out:

  • A group of high school friends joined one of our weekend tours. They were all eager and excited to learn more, and at the end, one of the students made a profound statement: “If we don’t learn about our history, we won’t know how to move forward.” This wisdom has stuck with me, and I now share this quote at the end of every tour. It beautifully encapsulates the importance of our mission and the work that we do.
  • During one of our Village Pride tours, when we arrived at the NYC AIDS Memorial, an older participant ask if he could share something. He was living in NYC at the height of the AIDS crisis, and he graciously share part of his story with the group. His recollections brought many of us to tears, myself included. It was a powerful reminder of the resilience and courage of those who fought during this time.
  • Every year, the National Park Rangers and a team of volunteers adorn the perimeter of Christopher Park with dozens of rainbow flags. This year, one of our tours stopped in the park during this moment, and we joined in and helped volunteer to put up some rainbow flags! It was an exciting experience, seeing the community come together to display this symbol of Pride and unity.

Although Pride Month is coming to a close, our tours continue. We celebrate Pride all year round! As we look towards the future, I am excited about the continued growth of Christopher Street Tours. Thank you to everyone who has joined us on a tour, shared their stories, and supported our mission. Together, we are continuing to celebrate and commemorate Pride and this movement.

With Pride and gratitude,

Michael
Founder, Christopher Street Tours

Leave a Reply