Pride is often a gateway for first-time drag queens wanting to celebrate and "get in heels and lip sync to Britney," said Queens-based drag queen Sutton Lee Seymour.
Kyler Puckett, another New York City-based drag queen who performs with the name Heidi Haux, was forever changed by moving to New York at 18, on Pride Weekend. "I was still closeted," he said. "The overwhelming support and sheer quantity of pro-gay anything blew my mind."
It's not a shock that NYC Pride is generally regarded as America's most vibrant Pride event. "There's nowhere like New York, the gay rights movement started here," said New York City drag queen Candy Sterling. "It's so symbolic of our fight for acceptance and progress." Emblematic of that fight: this year, the Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village bar that largely launched America's modern LGBTQ rights movement when police tried to raid it in 1969, was designated a national monument.